Conseil scolaire francophone: learn and live in French in Richmond

It may be a small school, but seeing students succeed while developing life skills is a priority for l'école des Navigateurs in Richmond.

"We're very concerned about our students getting the help and resources they need," says Réjean Gosselin, principal of des Navigateurs.

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The school boasts a counsellor, librarian, and special aides in addition to a full complement of teaching staff.

Part of the Conseil scolaire francophone (CSF) or French School District 93, des Navigateurs is a public elementary school offering the B.C. curriculum in French for Kindergarten to Grade 7. There's also a daycare for children from 3 years to 5 years, and before and after school care for its enrolled grade students.

"We have a few educational projects on the go," adds M. Gosselin. "We're working hard to develop math and reading skills with a unique approach designed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses in each student."

The school's library got a welcome infusion of books when the local Indigo Chapters store "adopted" des Navigateurs.

"They have a program where they make a donation to the school when parents buy books there," M. Gosselin explains. "They sent us five big boxes of French books for our library after we told them that our books were old and we didn't have the resources to buy new books. We appreciated that."

Life and study-skill improvement is also important to M. Gosselin and his colleagues at des Navigateurs.

"At our upcoming professional development day, we'll be working on la pleine conscience, which is similar to the MindUp curriculum in English," M. Gosselin says. "In this program, we help students develop life skills, such as how to make good decisions, how to relax before an exam, and how to calm down when they're angry."

For more information about l'école des Navigateurs or the CSF, please check the school's website at http://navigateurs.bc.ca, call 604.295.4056 or email rejean_gosselin@csf.bc.ca. CSF can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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