Welcome to North Battleford's École Père Mercure
École Père Mercure is the Conseil des écoles fransaskoises (CÉF) school in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. It serves Francophone families from North Battleford, Battleford and area that seek quality Francophone education for their children at elementary and high school levels. The French first language education offered at École Père Mercure is delivered by teachers who are inspired by best practices in use across Canada. And it all starts with our free prekindergarden program.
By registering your children at École Père Mercure, you are ensuring they will have access to the very best education available anywhere. Every new day at school will help them acquire new academic skills. They will develop their Francophone identity through enhanced, tailored programming. You will discover a world of learning opportunities for your children and possibly yourself. École Père Mercure's qualified teachers and educators all contribute to students' success and the school's in delivering exceptional educational services, with the support the local francophone community.
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Francophone education at École Père Mercure
École Père Mercure was created in 1991 in answer to the needs expressed by Francophone families that sought an education better suited to their French first language aspirations. The school opened officially in 1992, initially at the Don Ross Centre, until 1999. That year, the Francophone school system acquired and renovated the old St-Joseph School, where École Père Mercure eventually moved. The school is named after Father André Mercure, a local priest and community leader who became a champion of Francophone linguistics rights after challenging the legality of a ticket issued to him in English only. That ticket made it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. This legal adventure became known as the "Mercure Case". The Court agreed with Father Mercure that Saskatchewan was officially bilingual, but it allowed the province to pass a new law making English the official language, which it wasted no time doing. Yet, that Supreme Court of Canada decision helped clarify the status of Francophone rights in Saskatchewan. It became instrumental in allowing the Fransaskois to eventually manage their own schools - Francophone schools.
Studies have shown that Francophone schools are the best place for francophone students to get an education -- and they will have the advantage being fully bilingual at the end. Enrollment in French first language education will lead to students self-identifying more readily as bilingual Francophones than if they attend immersion school. Francophone students spend the school day in an environment where day-to-day life occurs predominently in French. This includes school interaction with parents, between teachers and ultimately with the community at large. Students experience French as a language not only for going to school, but for their future workplace and life in general. Their proficiency in French will remain longer. It will be part of who they are.
Incidentally, because of the nature of the environment in which we live, proficiency in English is easily acquired by our students. They learn French first, but they acquire English just as fast. Our Francophone students end up developing as good a command of the English language as native English-speakers.
Francophone education prepares students well for today's life journey
Upon graduation, our students' proficiency in both French and English tends to broaden the scope of choices available to them through advanced education at technical institute and college levels. Their Francophone school years are sure to influence the careers paths they will follow. The family decisions our graduates eventually make as adults are more likely to reflect the Francophone experiences at the heart of the Fransaskois school foundations. Perhaps they will be compelled to give the gift of Francophone education to their own children. This cycle of life is intricately woven through education, culture and community.
École Père Mercure is an essential ingredient in helping ensure the Fransaskois contribution to the shaping of Saskatchewan society remains vibrant in the years to come.