On February 1, French Immersion principals receive the list of all applicants in order of application date from the Board office. Schools then begin to contact parents to offer spots, in the following order:
1. Siblings of currently enrolled students at the school
2. Siblings of currently enrolled students in the program at any site in the district
(e.g. a child has an older sibling in French Immersion at high school)
3. Non-siblings who live in the district, in order of application
4. Non-siblings who live out of the district, in order of application
Note that because French Immersion is a district program, there are no “catchment” considerations, although generally speaking students in the southern/western neighbourhoods attend Belmont, while those in northern/eastern neighbourhoods attend James Kennedy.
Students who complete the Early Immersion program at Belmont (and the late immersion program at Noel Booth) get a guaranteed spot at Brookswood Secondary (if they stay in French, that is), and those from James Kennedy (early) and Alex Hope (late) have guaranteed places at Walnut Grove Secondary, regardless of their “catchment” status. Betty Gilbert Middle students go on to Aldergrove Community Secondary School.
When you are contacted, you will get 24 hours to accept a spot that is offered.
We have this timeline so that we can move through the lists in order to try to establish firm numbers for the purpose of staffing by Spring Break.
Once you accept a spot, you will be asked to come into the school to fill out the registration form. Students may be on several wait lists, but can be registered at only one school.
If your child did not get into the program that is your first choice, you can accept the spot that is offered but keep his or her on other wait lists.
You will need to bring in your child’s birth certificate, a parent’s proof of citizenship, and proof of residency when you register at the school. Filling out the registration form completes the process and means that your child has a guaranteed place for September.
√ It is the parents’ responsibility to keep contact information up to date. Lists typically exceed 100 names and ready access to the parent is crucial for the registration process to move forward - there is a “domino effect” as a spot declined by one parent opens up a spot for the next child.
√ If you know that you will be away in February when phone calls are made, please contact us ahead of time so that your child’s opportunity will not be missed
√ If you decline a spot, you have the option of remaining on the wait list for Grade 1 (see below)
√ The number of places available varies each year: some years we have more siblings than others.
What are the entry points for Early French Immersion?
Early French Immersion has only two entry points: Kindergarten and Grade 1. We can accept a few children in Grade 1 who did not have French in Kindergarten.
How many places are there for Kindergarten?
We usually run two Kindergarten classes of 22 each at both schools, although classes may be added if the demand and commitment are there and space allows.
How can I be sure that my child is a good candidate for French Immersion?
Most children respond well to the environment of early French Immersion. If your child has a language delay or a hearing problem, you may wish to consider a different environment. Special needs children are accepted into the program, and learning assistance is available in both early French Immersion programs. There are families at both early immersion schools with one child in French immersion and the other in English.
What are class sizes?
Class sizes in French Immersion are governed by the teachers’ collective agreements and provincial legislation, just as in English classes:
Kindergarten: maximum class size of 22
Grades 1-3: maximum class size of 24
Grades 4-7: maximum class size of 30 (may be exceeded in rare cases, with consent of the teacher)
What about full-day Kindergarten in French?
The provincial government has confirmed its commitment to having all BC students have the opportunity to attend all-day K within 2-3 years. We understand that the early French immersion schools will have full day K programs in 2011-12.
I have been told that my child is #115 on the list. Is there any hope that she will get a spot?
Absolutely! Many names toward the top of the application lists are no longer viable: families have moved or are no longer interested. At Belmont, we usually have 110-115 names and leave very few, if any, on the wait list once the process is completed. As well, the process is “client-driven”: when there is space and enough demand, classes may be added. Last year a third K class was added at Belmont because of demand.
Thank you for your interest in Langley’s French Immersion program.
Please contact the individual school principals for further information.