Rockwood French Immersion (FI) Feasibility Study
At the meeting of the Board on January 24, 2012 the following recommendation was approved:
"That staff conduct a study into the feasibility of establishing a French Immersion program in Rockwood and that this study be brought to Trustees no later than June 2012"
The Board created a committee to study the issue, with representation from Board staff and parents. A survey was conducted to determine interest in a French Immersion (FI) program in Rockwood. Community input and support was sought at a "town hall meeting" on February 22, 2012. The co-chairs of the feasibility study committee, Dave Walpole and Rosemary Fyfe, presented the committee's report to the Business Operations Committee on June 12,
2012. The study's recommendations were approved by the Board on June 26,
Read the Rockwood French Immersion (FI) Feasibility Study Report (PDF - 1.4 MB)
The study concluded that:
- there appears to be sufficient numbers of students to begin a JK/SK FI program in Rockwood in 2014
- if numbers permit, a JK/SK/Grade 1 program for 2014 would also be considered
- the program would grow each year by grade
- offering the FI program in 2014 is contingent upon a successful early registration campaign in October 2013 that confirms the viability of FI in Rockwood
The location for the FI program has yet to be determined. At the same meeting at which the Rockwood FI study's recommendations were approved, the Board also approved in principle a revision to the FDK Capital Plan. An earlier proposal to build an Early Learning Centre in Rockwood has been modified. The FDK Capital Plan now calls for the construction of a new elementary school with 13 classrooms and a capacity of 308 students. The proposed project is still subject to a successful land purchase and Ministry approvals.
If a French Immersion program is offered in Rockwood, students who qualify by board policy will receive transportation.
About French Immersion
The French Immersion (FI) program is designed to offer students the opportunity to acquire a high level of proficiency in French while maintaining and developing English language skills. French is the only language of instruction from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 2. English instruction is introduced for some subjects in Grade 3 and study in both languages continues until high school graduation.
The FI and English programs follow the same expectations in the Ontario Curriculum. A certificate of French Immersion studies is awarded upon successful completion of the program.
Entry into the French Immersion program begins in Junior Kindergarten (age 4), or alternatively Senior Kindergarten (age 5). Admission to the program in subsequent grades is available only to students who have comparable proficiency in the French language.
Learning French promotes:
- a deeper understanding of various languages and cultures
- enhanced creativity and problem solving ability
- a facility for learning other languages
- career opportunities in areas such as business, diplomacy, research, teaching, travel, translation, government, the Canadian Armed Forces
- enriched travel experiences in Canada and abroad