September 13, 2012

Board considers proposed changes to elementary French immersion program

Trustees review French Immersion Review Committee recommendations which would take effect Sept. 2013

At its Regular Meeting of the Board on Sept. 11, Peel District School Board trustees received the final report of the elementary French Immersion Review Committee. The report included five recommendations that the board will consider at its next Regular Meeting of the Board on Sept. 25.

“A major focus in this report was to examine the issues of staffing, instructional time and
space accommodation related to French immersion,” says Shirley-Ann Teal, superintendent of education  and committee lead. “The recommendations help plan for the sustainability of the French immersion/extended French programs, while ensuring students receive a high quality program designed to provide them with the skills they need to communicate in a second language.”

In total, there are 21 recommendations. The following recommendations were included in the report:
• that the board implement 50% daily instructional time in grades 1 to 8 French immersion (FI), effective Sept. 2013
• that the board place an enrolment cap on all grade 1 elementary FI programs, maintaining the level of access (i.e. 25 per cent of the total Peel board grade 1 enrolment) identified in the 2012-13 school year, effective 2013. The enrolment cap is to be reviewed by Dec. 2017.
• that the board consider the feasibility of appointing an administrator to facilitate the attraction and retention of French language staff
• that staff consider the organization of both single track and dual track FI schools as a part of the 2012-13 annual planning process and annually thereafter
• that the board establish a committee to conduct a full review of the FI/extended French (EF) program at the secondary level during the 2013-14 school year

The board’s percentage rate of FI growth continues to exceed its overall enrolment growth. Currently, 12,473 elementary and secondary students are enrolled in either FI or extended French in the Peel board—14.4 per cent of the board’s total student population.

As a part of the review process, staff collected information that was relevant to the goals and objectives of the committee. Information was gathered from central departments as well as from other school boards. A stakeholder survey completed by parents, position paper prepared by Peel Principals’ Vice-Principals’ Association and focus groups held with teachers helped to provide an understanding of current perceptions regarding existing FI/extended French programs and suggestions for improvements. Committee members also met with representatives from Canadian Parents for French.

The French Immersion Review Committee was formed on October 25, 2011, and met during the 2011-12 school year to examine data and to consider the implications of the various options to manage the growth of the FI/EF programs at the elementary level.


Media contact: Shirley-Ann Teal, superintendent of education and committee lead, 905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2353, [email protected]

Reference: Carla Pereira, manager of communications (acting), 905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2814, [email protected]

Note to media:

Background information on the proposed changes is posted on the French immersion information page.

To download the full final report of the French Immersion Review Committee—Elementary, visit

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