Merritt’s French immersion program students might be heading out east next spring.

At the latest board of education meeting on Nov. 8, a proposal for a five-day French immersion field trip to Quebec City during the city’s Carnaval, which happens every year in February, was presented to the board. 

From Feb. 8-12, 2024, Collettville Elementary School and Merritt Secondary School students enrolled in the French immersion program in grades 4, 7 and 10, would have the opportunity to enhance their language skills in a francophone environment and enjoy the cultural experiences Quebec City has to offer.

Jane Kempston, assistant superintendent at School District 58, said that parents and kids of both schools are very enthusiastic about the cultural field trip.

“It is something that is very near and dear to the heart and culture of French Canadians and French immersion parents,” said Kempston.

“Collettville and MSS students and parents are very, very excited for this opportunity.”

Kempston added that the main difference between this trip and the one that occurred in 2022 is that the one currently being proposed is taking place during Carnaval.

Gordon Swan, chair at School District 58, inquired during the meeting if any students have been excluded because of financial considerations. However, Kempston assured that no student is being left out for that reason.

“Any student who wants to participate will be given the chance to fundraise and support,” Kempston said. “We have the French immersion growth funds, there are dollars there … we have ways to ensure that kids can get there if they want to go.”

At the end of the presentation, board members acknowledged the educational value of the proposed trip and unanimously approved a motion for the trip to move forward with the necessary preparations.