High demand for elementary French immersion is making English classes too expensive

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High demand for elementary French immersion is making English classes too expensive
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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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The issue at hand is that there is far greater demand for Elementary French Immersion programs, than there are qualified teachers. At the same time, Elementary English class sizes are as low as four students for one teacher in dual track schools. This scenario is not a viable option for the Halton District School Board. The board wants input on how parents/public would like to address this issue.

The Halton District School Board has put together recommendations that can be found on page 9 (page numbers found at the bottom of the page) of the Board Meeting Agenda dated June 1, 2016. They range from blending grades for English classes that fall below the 23 student threshold, so there could be a Grade 1-2-3 blended English class, to redirecting English students to another school. Another recommendation is that Core French would be taught to all students starting in grade one, and thereby eliminate French Immersion in dual track schools. In this case no new dual track schools would be constructed.

The Halton District School Board has established a special delegation evening on Monday, June 13, 2016 to hear responses to the Program Viability report and recommendations regarding English and French Immersion elementary programming. The Director’s report will go to the Board of Trustees for a decision on June 15, 2016. The report will first be shared, for information and discussion, with Trustees at the June 1, 2016 Board meeting.

Members of the public interested in delegating the Board are required to register by Tuesday, June 7 (noon) via email to Gail Gortmaker, Manager of the Director’s Office at gortmakerg@hdsb.ca. Written materials are to be emailed to the same address by noon on Thursday, June 9. Delegates will be listed on the agenda in the order delegation requests were received, and will have five minutes to present their delegation materials.


Special delegation nights follow the same registration process as delegations to a regular Board meeting. Delegation information  is outlined in the Board’s delegation By-law, and identifies the need for written registration to be a delegate, as well as the submission of materials prior to the delegate’s five-minute presentation. The By-law can be found on the Halton District School Board website by searching ‘delegation’ in the search engine.

The delegation evening will be held on Monday, June 13, 2016 at the J.W. Singleton Education Centre, 2050 Guelph Line, in Burlington beginning at 6 p.m. Members of the public are invited to attend.


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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Valerie says:

    I would be pleased to learn that my language (French) is taught earlier in English-language schools.

    I would also be pleased if French-speaking families moving to Ontario were informed about the French schools which are available to them (PS: French speakers come from all over the world and may seem like new Canadians, but could benefit from placing their kids in French schools to help with their integration into Canadian life if it was their language of instruction in their home-country or a language with which the children are familiar)

    Shhh. Your child may be eligible for French-language schools and you do not even know it: https://www.csdccs.edu.on.ca/inscriptions/

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