Rolling into French: Immersion Planning Committee


French Immersion, District-level initiative, Vancouver Island Region, 2016-2017


The School Board has been implementing an early immersion program at the elementary level over the last 8 years, the current cohort of grade 7 students were the original year 1 kindergarten students and are preparing to enter the local secondary school this fall. Over the past school year a team of educators lead by the James Thomson Elementary (Immersion) School Principal Jasmin Marshman worked on a proposal for Board consideration regarding the implementation of Immersion for grades 8 to 12 beginning in the fall of 2017 in order to allow previous years grade 7 students a pathway to continue their studies in French.


In order to have students graduate locally with a Bilingual Graduation Certificate a comprehensive plan was needed for the gradual implementation of the secondary years program beginning with the coming grade 8's. Given there is only one Secondary School for the Community of Powell River, developing such a plan was expected to be fairly difficult. However a plan that was deemed satisfactory and affordable was adopted and will be put into place this fall.  In part what made this initiative particularly successful was inclusion in the plan to have the new secondary students return to the elementary school once a month to mentor younger students.