Big changes coming for French immersion students in Charlottetown

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Island classrooms prepared for changes to French immersion, minister says

West Kent Elementary will be a much busier place this coming fall.

It will have more than 100 new students when early French immersion is added to the classes.

Total enrolment is projected at 295 students.

More than half of them will be in the new early French immersion program, from kindergarten through Grade 6.

An education official told CBC News Friday the number of new teachers will be determined as the staffing process continues and the required number of classes is verified.

And they say it takes time to build what they call French immersion "culture" in a school, which involves hiring staff and assembling the needed teaching resources. 

The new French immersion students at West Kent will be gathered from other school zones, notably from Parkdale, St. Jean and Prince Street.

Spring Park, which already has early French immersion, will see its student numbers drop by five percent.

Donagh, Stratford, Montague

These aren't the only French immersion changes.

This fall, French immersion students from Donagh Regional will go to school at Glen Stewart and at Stratford elementary.

Late French immersion — which starts at Grade 7 — will be added to Montague Intermediate in 2018, pending sufficient enrolment.

Families will be contacted

Over the next few weeks, families will be contacted by schools with information to help their child transition, according to an education official.

Transition teams at the branch, and at the school, will be arranging open houses for students to visit and tour their new schools.

Parent information meetings on enrolment of students for late French immersion programs will be held April 19 at Stonepark Intermediate and April 20 at Birchwood Intermediate.

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