For Parents of Current Grade 5 Students:
A letter, along with an application form, regarding next September’s Grade 6 French Immersion classes will be available on January 15, 2021 at all elementary school offices, the Okanagan Skaha School District No. 67 Board Office (425 Jermyn Avenue, Penticton) and on the district website at www.sd67.bc.ca.
Deadline for applications is 12:00 Noon Monday, February 1, 2021
The program is available to all students residing in the Okanagan Skaha School District entering Grade 6 in September of 2021. Students outside the district are permitted to enroll on a space-available basis (i.e. after Okanagan Skaha School District students have been accommodated). Please note: Information Meetings will not be taking place due to COVID-19 and PHO protocols. However, all the information is still available at your school and on the website.
Since its inception in 1983, the District has had a successful late French Immersion Program. In the past five years, we have offered four to five divisions of French Immersion in the District, in Penticton and Summerland.
The program is available to all students residing in School District No. 67 entering Grade 6 in September 2021. The School District cannot guarantee transportation for students who register for Late French Immersion where it takes them to a school outside of their attendance / catchment area.
Registrations take place in February each year for the following September. School District Administration Procedure 306 - Choice and Flexibility states: Application for Late French Immersion must be received at the District office by noon on February 1 of each year (should February 1 fall on a weekend, the deadline will be at noon on the first day of school after February 1). If you are unsure, ask your school's principal for the specific date or contact the Education Secretary at the School Board Office on 250-770-7700. For registration for September 2021, information packages and application forms will be made available in January 2021. Completed application forms must be received at the School Board Office by 12:00 noon, Monday, February 1, 2021. Parents / guardians of all applicants will be notified in writing of the status of their application. Any applications received after the deadline will be placed on a waitlist as space becomes available and in date / time order.
It should be noted that there is no academic requirement or qualification that could exclude a student from enrolling in French Immersion. ANY student who resides within our geographic boundaries, regardless of previous achievement levels in elementary school, is eligible. As part of the application process, applicants MUST, on the application form, select their school of choice to attend (either KVR Middle or Summerland Middle). Enrolment will be determined in accordance with the following priorities as per Section 3.2.3. of School District Administration Procedure 306:
a) In-school district students
b) Non-school district students
Students residing outside the district are also permitted to apply on a space-available basis (i.e. after School District No. 67 students have been accommodated). Such applications will be considered pursuant to School District Administration Procedure 306. In addition, the Ministry of Education's policy on French Immersion emphasizes that: "The major goal of French Immersion is to provide the opportunity for non-francophone students to become bilingual in English and French." For more information visit the Ministry of Education website: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/policy/policies/french_immersion.htm
Frequently Asked Questions ...
... is French Immersion a completely different program?
The program is very similar to the one taught in the English classes with the same content areas in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, physical education, music and art, except that all subjects are taught in French in Grade 6. Language Arts in English is re-introduced in Grade 7.
... is this just a one year introductory program?
No. The commitment to the program is definitely for three years (Grades 6, 7 and 8) and it is expected that successful students would continue to take the French Immersion courses offered at the secondary level through to graduation.
... do the students need French to follow the material?
No. When they enter the class, students are assumed to have little or no French. For the first two or three weeks, some English will be used. After the first month or two, the students will acquire enough French to do their other subjects in that language.
... will students' English language skills suffer?
There is no evidence that students' ability to read, write and spell in English is harmed by the program over the long term.
... how much French will they acquire in a year?
Most students will be able to converse in French reasonably well by the end of Grade 6. The students' written skills will need further development in Grade 7. By the end of Grade 7 they should read and write French at their grade level while still maintaining their English skills.
... where is the program located?
Class(es) will be located at KVR Middle School in Penticton and Summerland Middle School in Summerland, provided sufficient enrolment is achieved. Both KVR Middle and Summerland Middle Schools enrol Grades 6, 7 and 8 in both English track and Late French Immersion. French Immersion classes at the secondary level (Grades 9-12) are currently located at Penticton Secondary School and Summerland Secondary School.
... what if there are insufficient numbers to accommodate a Summerland Late French Immersion program?
If this were the case, all applicants residing within the geographic boundaries of School District No. 67 will receive equal consideration for the Penticton Late French Immersion program in accordance with School District Administration Procedure 306.
... are there any limitations?
Yes. The number of students entering the program may be limited.
... graduation from French Immersion?
Students continuing in the French Immersion program through Grade 12 and graduating will receive their final Dogwood Diploma in both English and French.
Still have questions?
Ask your child's principal and check out the Ministry of Education website: www.bced.gov.bc.ca/policy/policies/french_immersion.htm
If you wish to speak to a parent of a student already in the French Immersion program, please contact any of the following at Canadian Parents for French Okanagan-Skaha:
Chris Stewart, President, 250-462-8716, email@example.com
Sandra Chalmers, Vice President, 250-328-5613