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French Immersion

SD64 French Immersion Programs

French Immersion is a French-language learning program available to grade 6-12 students in Gulf Islands School District. It is designed for non-French-speaking students who wish to attain a high level of proficiency in both official languages.

SD 64 offers a Late Immersion Program for grades 6-7 at Salt Spring Elementary School, as well as a Secondary School French Immersion Program at GISS for grades 8-12. 

Students are immersed in the French language within the classroom where French is used for meaningful communication and for instruction in all subject areas. The goal of the SD64 French Immersion Program is to produce well-educated, functionally-bilingual students. 

Students in the program achieve a level of learning in all subject areas equivalent to that achieved by students in the English program and can graduate with dual Dogwood Diplomas (both a British Columbia Certificate of and a Diplôme de fin d’études secondaires en Colombie-Britannique).

French Immersion students develop strong communication skills in both French and English. They also develop a knowledge and understanding about the structure of language that may enable them to learn other languages more easily.

Subject to space availability and the requirements of our enrolment and registration process, Late French Immersion students enter the program in Grade 6 and continue on through to Grade 12. Formal instruction in French represents 80% of instructional time through to Grade 7. The percentage of French instruction decreases gradually as students proceed through the secondary grades to allow for flexibility in course selection, while ensuring the maintenance of a high level of proficiency in French. 

French Immersion is a District program with no specific catchment areas. The Program is reviewed regularly to provide equity of access for all children and to maintain a balanced enrolment across the District. 

Application Process

Application Deadline is March 1st

Download Application Form

Applications should be submitted to Salt Spring Elementary School or emailed to:

Late French Immersion is offered to students  at Salt Spring Elementary School who have successfully completed Grade 5. If your child is entering Grade 6, they are eligible to enrol in Late French Immersion and obtain a bilingual Dogwood certificate upon graduation. Registration applications will be accepted until March 1st, for September enrolment.

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.)

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 March 1st deadline will be considered equal in merit of priority. In the event that 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 in accordance with Board Policy and Procedure 410, transportation may not be provided for out-of-catchment students

New Students

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.

More Information

French Immersion Program Policy, BC Ministry of Education

French Programs, BC Ministry of Education

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