École Norval-Morrisseau: An Annex Becomes a School in Vancouver

Article from Parenthèse published on 17 February 2021, in the Education/Schools category.

Contribution by Élisabeth Lefrançois, member of the parents’ association of l’école Norval-Morrisseau


Opened a few years ago in East Vancouver as an annex to l’école Anne-Hébert, Annexe Maquinna was granted school status by the Conseil Scolaire Francophone (CSF) Board of Trustees in 2020, much to the delight of the community it serves.

Our little school, which welcomes students from kindergarten to Grade 2, was ready for this new step. Parents are happy to get involved to help shape the school’s future, including its potential expansion up to Grade 6.

Already very active before the pandemic, our community of parents has managed, despite the challenges associated with COVID-19, to get involved in many efforts. Here are some examples:

  • Choosing the school’s name: a consultation with students, school staff, parents, and the community led to choosing the name of Norval Morrisseau. It was an enjoyable and engaging process, and we’re very pleased that the name chosen pays tribute to an Indigenous Francophone artist.

This renowned artist’s works were shown to the students, and the students seem to have very much appreciated his art, since Norval Morrisseau is the name the majority of students voted for. Activities to celebrate Norval Morrisseau’s art are also in the works.

  • Establishing the school's parents' association (APÉ): our APÉ was created thanks to the work of some experienced parent volunteers, and thanks also to the enthusiasm of new parents who joined them. It was in a jovial and friendly atmosphere that the APÉ organized a first fundraiser, a sale of local handicrafts and products. The money raised will support activities that benefit the students.
  • Developing logos for the school and the parents' association: we are proud to have talented parents in our community who participated in the creation of the school logo in collaboration with the CSF. It should be noted that both the school’s logo and the APÉ’s logo are inspired by the work of Norval Morrisseau.

Although we’ve had a "green" mission from the very beginning, our school has been forced to reduce outings and exploration activities, given the health restrictions that are currently in place. However, everyone is looking forward to these activities resuming, and to seeing the school grow during the coming years. A group of parents is involved with this project, in the hope that children will one day be able to spend all their primary years in this great school!