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French Immersion to launch at Sacred Heart

Programme approuvé
Posted on 03/29/2023

Families in the LaSalle area who want their children to become fluent in both of Canada’s official languages will be able to enroll them in a new French Immersion program that will begin in the fall.

Trustees approved a recommendation at last night’s board meeting to launch the new program at Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School for students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 1 beginning in September of 2023. Families can register their children now.

The approval comes after the board conducted a feasibility study and held a public consultation meeting to determine the level of interest in a French Immersion program at Sacred Heart, located on Kenwood Boulevard school. So far, 23 students have committed to enrolling in the program, but there’s room for more according to Joumana Tawil, the Superintendent who helped lead the public consultation process.

“Given the rich French historical tradition in the area, and the fact that so many parents are interested in French Immersion for their children, we’re confident that this program is going to fill up quickly,” said Tawil, who added that new grades will be added as students progress through the program. Upon graduation from Grade 8, they will have the opportunity to continue with French Immersion in secondary if they attend St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School.

With the addition of French Immersion, Sacred Heart becomes a dual-track school, meaning that families will have the choice of registering their JK to Grade 1 children in both English and French programming.

Staff at the school are excited for the French Immersion program to launch and are looking forward to welcoming new students, according to Tara Clarke, the school’s principal.

“This is a wonderful neighbourhood school with some very devoted and highly qualified teachers who are eager to begin educating our new French Immersion students,” she said.

Frank DiTomasso, the Trustee who represents the area, said he was delighted to support the recommendation.

“I’ve heard from many families who want this program for their children, so I’m thrilled that it’s going to be launching soon,” he said.

The WECDSB now has French Immersion programs at nine elementary schools and five high schools.

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