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French as a Second Language Programs

Oui, je parle français!

The French Immersion program is an optional program offered to students in Early Learning Kindergarten (ELKP) to Grade 8 within the Board. It is designed for children who do not speak French at home. Any parent/guardian who desires his/her child to study in French may enrol his/her child in the French Immersion program. 

French Immersion Locations

French Immersion Kindergarten program is offered at five BHNCDSB locations:

  • City of Brantford French Immersion Site: St. Leo Catholic Elementary 519-759-3314
  • City of Brantford French Immersion Site: Jean Vanier Catholic Elementary 519-753-5283
  • Brant County French Immersion Program Site: Sacred Heart, Paris 519-442-4443
  • Norfolk County French Immersion Site: St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary, Simcoe 519-426-0820
  • Haldimand County French Immersion Site: Notre Dame Catholic Elementary, Caledonia 905-765-0649

The Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board offers a vibrant French Immersion and Core French Program for students across the District. In order to sustain the outstanding programs we offer, at the level of quality we expect, we continue to review our policy for French Immersion and Core French.

Over the past few years, we, along with other school boards, have been faced with a challenge of finding qualified French teachers to instruct and facilitate our French programs. We continue to actively recruit, but in the meantime, we have decided to institute a cap for our Kindergarten registration in French Immersion.

Spots are limited. Register now!

It is imperative that you register within the registration period in order to be considered for the French Immersion Program. The registration is now open and will close, February 28th. If you have a child already enrolled in the French Immersion program within BHNCDSB, then your other child(ren) will be offered a spot in the program IF YOU REGISTER within the registration period.

The Importance of Learning French

The ability to speak and understand French allows students to communicate with French-speaking people in Canada and around the world, to understand and appreciate the history and evolution of their cultures, and to develop and benefit from a competitive advantage in the workforce. While the knowledge of any language has value, French is not only a global language, but the mother tongue of many Canadians and an integral part of the Canadian identity.

In addition to strengthening students’ ability to communicate, learning another language develops their awareness of how language and culture interconnect, helping them appreciate and respect the diversity of Canadian and global societies. When a student is exposed to another culture through its language, he or she begins to understand the role that language plays in making connections with others. Learning an additional language not only challenges a mind, it also teaches understanding, encourages patience, and fosters open-mindedness.

Ontario Curriculum: FSL, Ministry of Education, 2013

Questions and Answers about the French Immersion Program

WE ARE A NON-FRENCH SPEAKING FAMILY. WILL OUR CHILD BE AT A DISADVANTAGE?

French Immersion is a French second language program designed for students whose first language is not French. It is not necessary for parents or guardians to know or speak French. The best way to help your child is to be positive and supportive.

WILL MY CHILD BE GETTING THE SAME PROGRAM AS HE/SHE WOULD IN AN ENGLISH CLASS?

Yes, French Immersion programs follow the Ontario Curriculum that is mandated by the Ministry of Education. Reporting of student progress is the same in immersion programs as it is in English programs.

WILL MY CHILD’S ENGLISH SUFFER?

No. French Immersion pupils are able to read, write, speak, understand and use English as well as youngsters instructed in English. In fact, research shows that learning a second language can actually enhance a person’s first language. There may be an initial lag when a student first begins immersion, but in time, language learning returns to its usual rate.

Questions and Answers about Registration, Program Class Caps and Transportation

The Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board offers a vibrant French Immersion and Core French Program for students across the District. In order to sustain the outstanding programs we offer, at the level of quality we expect, we continue to review our policy for French Immersion and Core French.

Over the past few years, we, along with other school boards, have been faced with a challenge of finding qualified French teachers to instruct and facilitate our French programs. We continue to actively recruit, but in the meantime, we have decided to institute a cap for our Kindergarten registration in French Immersion.

Spots are limited. The timing of registration completion is important.

It is imperative that you register within the registration period in order to be considered for the French Immersion Program. The registration is open from the beginning of January to the last day of February each year. If you have a child already enrolled in the French Immersion program within BHNCDSB, then your other child(ren) will be offered a spot in the program IF YOU REGISTER within the registration period.

WHAT IF I HAVE A CHILD ALREADY IN THE FRENCH IMMERSION PROGRAM, WILL MY OTHER CHILDREN BE CONSIDERED AUTOMATICALLY FOR ENROLMENT IN THE FRENCH IMMERSION PROGRAM?

Yes, but ONLY if you register within the registration period to be considered and offered a spot in the French Immersion Program. PLEASE REGISTER BEFORE THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY. Automatic acceptance is not guaranteed after this date.

HOW IS THE CAP DETERMINED? HOW MANY SPOTS ARE THERE?

Each of the 5 Dual Track Schools, offering French Immersion, will have a different number of spots available depending on the current enrolment, students staying in the program from Year 1 to Year 2, and number of classes offered at schools. The Board will determine the caps each year. Please register before the last day of the month of February to be considered for one of the open spots.

HOW IS IT DECIDED WHO IS OFFERED A SPOT IN THE FRENCH IMMERSION PROGRAM?

Registration for the French Immersion Kindergarten Program is open from the beginning of January to the last day of February. Admission into the Program follows our Admissions of Students – 200.14 policy. The policy includes provisions for non-Catholic, Out of Boundary and Out of Jurisdiction students. As spots are limited, completed registrations that fall within the guidelines of our Admission of Students policy and are submitted within the registration period, are considered on a first-come-first-serve basis. Students not offered a spot in the program will be placed on a Wait List.

IS THERE A WAIT LIST AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

A Wait List is established if the French Immersion Kindergarten Program class is full. If families are not offered a spot in the class, but are still interested in the Program, their child is placed on the Wait List. If spots in the class become available (i.e. families move, withdraw their application) families on the Wait List are offered a spot. The Wait List is created, within the parametres of our Admission of Students Policy and in the order of receipt of completed applications.

HOW WILL I FIND OUT IF MY CHILD IS ACCEPTED INTO THE FRENCH IMMERSION PROGRAM?

In March, school secretaries will notify families that they have been offered a spot in the French Immersion Program OR that they have been placed on the Wait List. Families who are placed on the Wait List will automatically be registered at their home school in the English Kindergarten Program and will be asked to confirm their intent to attend.

IS TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED FOR MY CHILD ENROLLED IN A FRENCH IMMERSION PROGRAM NOT OFFERED AT MY HOME SCHOOL? (MEANING YOUR CHILD IS ATTENDING A PROGRAM AT A SCHOOL THAT IS CONSIDERED ‘OUT OF BOUNDARY’)

Yes, transportation will be provided for students meeting the Board’s eligibility requirements as per the Transportation of Students Policy 400.19. Courtesy transportation to a French Immersion site may be provided to siblings, not enrolled in the French Immersion Program, if all of the conditions of Courtesy Transportation, as detailed in Student Transportation Services Policy #017 are met. Courtesy transportation is not guaranteed and is reviewed annually.