Since its inception in 1995, the Conseil scholaire francophone (CSF), or School District 93, has offered children from K – Grade 12 an education in French. Part of the B.C. education system, the CSF follows the regular school curriculum for all students in the province, including the usual standardized testing methods.
Several of the CSF high schools offer the world-renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Founded in Switzerland in 1968, the IB is a non-profit foundation offering four programs of education designed to develop the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills in students to prepare them to live and work in an increasingly globalized world.
"All the core subjects are taught in French," says Laurent Brisebois, principal of l'école Andé Piolat, "but there's also an English component, meaning that our students will be completely bilingual as well."
According to M. Brisebois, an advantage of graduating with an IB diploma is the opportunities it could open up for students.
"It's just one more tool we can give them," he explains. "Students can approach just about any university armed with an IB diploma and an ability to study and communicate in French and English. First year university students may also be able to get a few exemptions based on having the IB diploma."
The IB diploma program is available to students aged 16 to 19 years old and is taught in over 4,000 schools around the world. In addition to encouraging a strong work ethic and organizational skills, the program is designed to foster and develop curious and engaged minds in young people.