December 14, 2011

Trustees say “Oui!” to Expanded French Immersion Programs  

Learning a second language enhances students’ reasoning and creative thinking skills, develops their capacity to respect other cultures, and prepares them to participate more fully in an increasingly global marketplace.

With these opportunities in mind, at their regular meeting on December 13, 2011, Trustees approved the expansion of the DSBN’s existing French Immersion program from a Grade 5 entry to one that has students starting in Grade 4. Trustee support of the program expansion will see 36 classrooms open their doors to French Immersion in September, 2012. 

The development of French Immersion at the DSBN does not stop there however. Increased parent interest in the program also fueled the plan to implement a Grade One pilot in five schools this fall. Central Public School will launch the Grade One pilot for families in West Niagara, Briardale and Sheridan Park Public Schools will offer the pilot in St. Catharines, John Marshall Public School will run the Niagara Falls pilot, and Gordon Public School will serve the communities of south Pelham.

Superintendent of School Support Services Carol Germyn notes that the decision by Trustees to approve the Grade One pilot will enable more students in Niagara to learn French at a time when they are able to grasp the subtleties of language.  “Younger language learners have a great ability to grasp both pronunciation and intonation of new languages,” Germyn said.

To learn more about both the Grade Four entry into French Immersion and the Grade One French Immersion Pilot, parents are invited to attend open houses scheduled for January 2012. Julie Stapleton, DSBN FSL and International Languages Consultant adds that the open houses are also a great way to find out if the program is suitable for their child. “When parents attend a French Immersion open house they will learn more about program specifics, and also ask questions that pertain to their child’s specific learning and program needs,” she said.

Parents interested in enrolling their children in French Immersion will be able to register online from the DSBN website www.dsbn.org starting January 9 2012, with a deadline of February 29, 2012.

For more information about French Immersion at the DSBN, please contact Kelly McDonnell at 905-227-5551 ext. 52402 or Julie Stapleton, DSBN FSL and International Languages Consultant, at 905-227-5551 ext. 52220.

 Program Details:West Niagara:- Central Public School is accepting Grade 1 students (pilot) as well as Grades 4 and 5 entry students
- Students from Central will continue in the French Immersion program at Lakeview Public School for Grades 6, 7 and 8.      

St. Catharines:- Sheridan Park Public School is accepting Grade 1 students (pilot). In 2013, the pilot will expand to include Grade 2, with Grade 3 added the following year.|
- Students from Sheridan Park will continue in the French Immersion program at Dalewood Public School for Grades 4-8.

St. Catharines: Alexandra will be accepting Grade 4 and 5 entry for September 2012.
Queen Mary will be accepting Grade 7 entry for September 2012.
Alexandra students will continue in the French Immersion program at Queen Mary for grades 6-8.

St. Catharines: - Briardale Public School is accepting Grade 1 students (pilot) as well as Grades 4 and 5 entry students
- Students from Briardale will continue in the French Immersion program at Oakridge Public School for Grades 6, 7 and 8.

Niagara Falls: 

- John Marshall Public School is accepting Grade 1 students (pilot). In 2013, the pilot will expand to include Grade 2, with Grade 3 added the following year.

- Students from John Marshall will continue in the French Immersion program at Prince Philip Public School for Grades 4-8.

Welland/Pelham/Fonthill: - Gordon Public School is accepting Grade 1 students (pilot) as well as Grades 4 and 5 entry students