Division to pursue Late French Immersion in Okotoks

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Education: Information meeting on program Monday, Feb. 12 at Pegler

Late-entry French Immersion at École Percy Pegler School took another step to becoming a reality for the start of the next school year.

Foothills School Division gave the thumbs up to continue looking into the program, which will see students able to start French Immersion in Grade 5 in September of 2018.

Trustees passed a motion at their public meeting on Feb. 6 in High River to pursue the establishment of a Grade 5 late French Immersion program in Okotoks, pending sufficient registrations prior to the March 15 deadline.

Approximately 25 students would be needed to make the program viable.

The program has students taking French Immersion starting in Grade 5 at École Percy Pegler, rather than in kindergarten. The students would continue taking French Immersion together through to Grade 9. They would join those students who have taken French Immersion since kindergarten in Grade 10.

A survey taken by the division showed there were 50 respondents “very interested” in the program, and 17 “no”. There were two per cent, which responded “weren’t sure.”

The proposal for the 2018-’19 program is restricted to Okotoks area students.

“We want to start here for this pilot and early indicators are that we are going to be successful,” said superintendent of schools John Bailey.

He said there is potential for bringing the program to High River, likely École Joe Clark School, in the future.

An information meeting concerning the program in Okotoks is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12 at Pegler.

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