A strong sense of community built on inclusion is just one of the benchmarks that define École des Sept-sommets in Rossland, a public Francophone school that opened in September 2004, with a current enrolment of 57 students, supplying British Columbia’s curriculum for kindergarten to Grade 9, including the Franc Départ, a free-startpreschool program.
Offered from September to June, the Franc Départ program is a Ministry of Education provincial initiative implemented by the Conseil scolaire francophone (CSF) – or School District 93 – open to all families with children from zero to five years old.
The program welcomes adults and children to participate in a variety of activities in a lively and stimulating French-speaking environment. Parents and children can become familiar with the school environment and get to know the school staff while learning about the services offered in French in the community.
An exceptional West Kootenay location
The high quality of education, language skills, a strong sense of community, and connection to the broader French-speaking world are all important reasons why families are drawn to École des Sept-sommets in Rossland. The vibrant mountain town is not only famed for skiing and mountain biking but for the Seven Summits ridge-line trail that sweeps across the Rossland Range, a nod to the school’s English name.
Flourishing wildflower meadows are as thriving as Rossland’s flourishing Francophonie.
“I see a lot of people from B.C., Quebec, Ontario, and some from all over actually, coming to Rossland, which I think is definitely booming,” says Lyne Theberge, vice-principal of inclusive education, CSF.
“You’d be surprised to know there are way more Francophone people than one would think in such a small community. One of the things that bring families to Rossland is that it’s a really safe environment, especially for young kids to grow, teenagers, too.”
“The community gives off a big family-like feel, where everybody helps each other, everyone is involved, and each of us is connected.”
Cultural learning, unique education
As a parent, enroling your child in a French-language school opens them up to a wider realm of opportunities while providing the privilege of evolving in a rich cultural environment that prioritizes the success and well-being of students. This immersive Francophone learning experience also intrinsically embeds your family in the broader school community.
Proud of their values based on inclusion, diversity, collaboration and commitment, École des Sept-sommets is committed to communicating the Indigenous history, heritage and culture to its students, especially by consulting Indigenous people.
“We do a lot of things regarding First Nations,” says Theberge. “We’ve had Marilyn James (Sinixt Smum iem Matriarch) come to our school many times and have visited a pit house in the Slocan Valley Sinixt First Nation Village site.”
“One of the unique things the principal is working on this year is a partnership with Seven Summit Centre for Learning,” adds Theberge. “They’re invited to use our gymnasium, and in exchange, we can do our food course with our high school students and use their industrial kitchen.”
The food class has also been a conduit to help fundraise for the Grade 9 trip to Montreal to celebrate their graduation. “We do a lot of fundraising over the years, and we’ve become very creative, like in our food class, the students made hot lunches to sell to other kids,” says Theberge.
“When we’re in Montreal, it’s a lot of fun; we visit the art museum, science world, the botanical garden — basically, as much as we can do in four to five days.”
Theberge is quick to acknowledge their commitment to staying current with innovative pedagogical methods but admits it’s much more than just academics.
“We also strongly believe that the social, emotional, mental health and wellbeing of our students is really at the heart.”
How to apply / Comment s’inscrire
Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees Canadian citizens established in B.C. the right to have their children educated in a Francophone education program.
Criteria include: their first language learned and still understood is French, or; they received their education at the primary level in French in Canada (excluding immersion), or; their children have received or receive their education at the primary or secondary level in French in Canada (excluding immersion).
For more information about Southeastern B.C. Francophone schools, visit frenchlanguageschoolsbritishcolumbia.ca/en/-region-6 or call
N’attendez plus, inscrivez-votre enfant dès maintenant dans une des écoles du CSF !
The Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF) is a public Francophone school board recognized nationally for its dynamism and innovative spirit, engaging students and communities. With 47 schools across B.C. and over 1,200 employees, the CSF is one of the largest francophone employers in Western Canada.