French immersion for Chemainus?

Cowichan district debates the idea of adding late immersion program

  • Apr. 16, 2015 9:00 a.m.

Uncertainty about the direction of French Immersion programs in the Cowichan School District may “porte ouverte” in Chemainus.

With the program booming in Duncan and Cobble Hill, existing resources struggling to meet demand, and opportunities for late entry limited, assistant superintendent Sheryl Koers raised the idea of a a late immersion program at Chemainus.

Koers said the majority of school districts have both early and late French immersion. The Cowichan School District has no late immersion program and attrition in numbers from the early program are hurting the district’s ability to offer courses at the high school level.

“If attrition is the challenge, then late immersion is the better answer. It could start in September. That would help solve the attrition problem in two years,” superintendent Joe Rhodes said.

Later immersion has a greater retention rate, he said, because it’s a student’s own choice, rather than something driven by parents’ wishes. Students are also building on a greater knowledge of how to use language by that age, he said, sharing with trustees that the late cohort would go into immersion classes in Grades 6 and 7.

“By Grade 8 they’ve basically caught the early immersion kids.”

The board of education was being asked to consider limiting early immersion registration numbers in order to create space for late registration. Trustee Rob Hutchins was unconvinced about the need to cut kindergarten registrations.

“Why can’t we have both? We could have late immersion at Chemainus Elementary. There are empty classrooms there.”

Rhodes agreed.

“Absolutely you could. But it would come at a cost.”

That didn’t deter Hutchins, though.

“I’d like to have more information on the amount of interest in late immersion out there in the general public,” he said.

He called for a report for the next meeting showing the amount of interest in this year’s Grade 5 students for an opening for French immersion in Grade 6 next year. The rest of the board agreed, referring the entire subject to the next session.

“There are a lot of people out there who want French immersion. If you build it, they will come,” Koers said.

Just Posted

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley was passed up for a cabinet position by Premier John Horgan. (Photo submitted)
Op-Ed: Modernizing forestry and prioritizing reconciliation

Doug Routley writes on Fairy Creek and Central Walbran Valley old growth deferrals

The log retaining wall that supports the access road to the Ladysmith Community Marina is failing and needs to be replaced. (Cole Schisler photo)
Remediation work for community marina access road expected to be costly

A log retaining wall between the access road and the parking area is failing and must be replaced

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Ladysmith Harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water harbour, none of them threatening

More and more graffiti has appeared in Ladysmith’s downtown core during the pandemic. (Cole Schisler photo)
Council creates rebate program to encourage graffiti clean up

Property owners can receive up to $50 to help fund graffiti removal

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read