District seeks public’s opinion on French immersion

Parents, students, teachers and community members are invited to give Nanaimo school district feedback on the district's French immersion programs at two open houses next week.

Parents, students, teachers and community members are invited to give Nanaimo school district feedback on the district’s French immersion programs at two open houses next week.

The district has hired an external consultant to review its French immersion programs and is collecting public feedback on what is currently offered and what people would like to see in the future.

Sharon Welch, school board chairwoman, said the review is the first step in the board’s facilities renewal plan, as French immersion is a popular program and how it is structured will have a significant impact on schools.

“It’s huge as far as predicting space,” she said, adding that all schools that currently offer French immersion are stuffed to the brim.

One idea that consultants might collect feedback on is the proposal of creating a Grade 6 and 7 French immersion middle school at Nanaimo District Secondary School to ensure that the population is spread out, said Welch.

The district has also considered a late French immersion program in recent years.

“It’s not just about where to go, but how we structure French immersion,” said Welch. “We’ve got it set up so we should have a complete report back to the board at the beginning of June.”

The open houses are Tuesday (May 3) at Cedar Secondary School, from 4-7 p.m. and Wednesday (May 4) at Wellington Secondary School, between 4 and 7 p.m.

The material prepared for the open houses will be available online and people can submit comments and suggestions online between May 2 and 9.

More information is available at www.sd68.bc.ca/News/FIReview.asp.

We are experiencing technical difficulties with our commenting platform and hope to be up and running again soon. In the meantime, you can still send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, or submit a letter to the editor.