A Stronger French Community: Assessment, Practice and Reconfiguration
French Immersion, District-level initiative, Fraser Valley Region, 2017-2018
As our Early French Immersion program is still quite new (introduced 2014), bringing our team together to develop a common approach to assessment of, for and as learning has been our primary focus. We continue to review our current district-wide assessments, adapting those that are valid in an immersion context, and searching for better tools to give us an accurate picture of our students' progress. The range of quick assessments our LAT has been trying out show promise, and will become part of the range of assessments our classroom teachers will use next year.
Our District is currently being reconfigured to a K-5/6-8/9-12 educational system. This has opened the door to many great conversations about how we can reinvigorate and re-imagine our Late French Immersion programs, too. First of all, it removes the feeling of isolation our grade 6 students and teachers felt in the K-6 Elementary structure. And now, moving towards a truer middle school philosophy in our Grade 6-8 Immersion schools, where teachers will effectively be team-teaching students in grades 6 and 7, will create a stronger French climate and a greater sense of community for these learners and teachers.
In relation to the collaboration being done at the Early French Immersion school, even though we have only really begun this work, it is beginning to show promise. Staff are feeling more comfortable knowing they share a common vision and are on the same track. Now that we have hired our new Grade Five teacher and we have our full K-5 program in place, we can settle in and put long-term plans into motion.
In relation to grade reconfiguration, teachers are just in the planning stages of re-imagining what Middle School looks like for our Immersion students. This represents a bit of a mind-shift for some of our teachers, but there is a recognition that this new structure will benefit our students, and create opportunities for greater collaboration amongst staff and students, for easier differentiation of learning and integration of curriculae, not to mention the development of a stronger 'French' community.
- Name: Iain Gardner
- Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- School district: #33 Chilliwack