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French Immersion

SD64 French Immersion Programs

The French Immersion program caters to students in grades 6-12, offering a comprehensive language learning experience for those without prior French proficiency. This initiative, available at Salt Spring Elementary School for grades 6-7 and GISS for grades 8-12, introduces a Late French Immersion option for students who have completed Grade 5. Students entering Grade 6 have the opportunity to enroll in Late French Immersion, culminating in the attainment of a bilingual Dogwood certificate upon graduation.

Within the program, students engage in a French language immersive environment across all subjects, promoting meaningful communication and instructional use of French in the classroom. The overarching goal is to cultivate well-educated, functionally bilingual individuals. Successful program participants achieve academic proficiency in all subjects comparable to their English program counterparts and have the potential to graduate with dual Dogwood Diplomas.

The French Immersion curriculum not only develops strong communication skills in both French and English but also imparts a deeper understanding of language structures, facilitating potential ease in learning additional languages.

Late French Immersion, subject to space availability and enrollment processes, accepts students from Grade 6 through Grade 12. Formal French instruction constitutes 80% of the instructional time up to Grade 7, gradually reducing in subsequent secondary grades to accommodate flexible course selection while ensuring the maintenance of high French proficiency.

This district-wide program, devoid of specific catchment areas, undergoes regular reviews to uphold equitable access for all students and maintain a balanced enrollment distribution across the entire district.

French Immersion Information Session

We would like to invite interested families to an information session that will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at  5 pm in room 10 at Salt Spring Elementary. For those of you not able to attend in person, please email Principal Shelly Johnson, and she will send you the Zoom link. 

Application Process

Application Deadline is February 15

Applications should be submitted in person to Salt Spring Elementary School or emailed to Principal Shelly Johnson. Students new to the district must also complete a student registration form. Please see our Student Registration Page for registration details or contact your local school for more information.

Download Application Form


Priority placement will be given to:

  • Students currently enrolled in a French Immersion Program
  • SD64 Students with an older sibling who is currently enrolled in or has completed the SD64 French Immersion Program
  • SD64 Students with a Francophone speaker living in the household
    (Francophone refers to someone for whom French is their preferred language, the one they typically use most often to speak, read, write, and think, and the one they use most often at home.)

Any remaining spaces will be given to students in the following priority order:

  1. All other SD64 catchment students
  2. All other non-SD 64 catchment students

All registration applications received by the February 15 deadline will be considered equal in merit of priority. If all registrants cannot be accommodated, a lottery will be held to determine placement.

Registration and Lottery Process

  • Sort applications by district region and by priority placement order 
  • Determine the number of spaces available proportional to each district region 
  • Announce a date for the lottery
  • Have a committee carry out the lottery selection process
  • Draw and record the names in order of selection*
  • Fill available spots and compile an ordered wait list of remaining applications
  • Contact those not accepted and communicate where they are on the wait list
  • Register wait-listed students at their catchment school

*Spaces will be filled in priority placement order, proportionally by island of residence.

Should space become available, registration will be offered to wait-listed applicants by draw order. Late registrations will be accepted and placed on the waitlist in the order they are received.

Please know that per Board Policy and Procedure 410, transportation for out-of-catchment students is not guaranteed.

More Information

French Immersion Program Policy, BC Ministry of Education

French Programs, BC Ministry of Education

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