New Elementary School to Offer French Immersion

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Sault Ste. Marie’s newest Catholic elementary school will offer parents the option to have their child enrolled in a French Immersion program.

Trustees of the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) were informed of the decision to offer French Immersion at St. Basil Catholic Elementary School.  There were a number of inquiries asking if such a program could be provided at the school, which opens in September 2017.

“The Board was very cognizant of the wishes of parents as we deliberated offering the French Immersion option for children starting junior and senior kindergarten, and possibly grade one, next fall at St. Basil Catholic Elementary School.  They will have the option of enrolling their child in the English Program or in Canada’s world-renowned French Immersion Program,” said HSCDSB Superintendent of Education, Maria Esposito.

“I must make it very clear that for us to offer this option, there would need to be a sufficient number of students enrolling in French Immersion at the three grade levels we are looking at,” added Esposito.

If implemented, the French Immersion program would be expanded by one grade in subsequent years.  Staff members and parents of all four school communities were informed of the plan in separate meetings held earlier this week.

“This important educational decision of choosing to have their child learn both of Canada’s official languages is every parent’s choice.  More and more parents are selecting to have their child learn French because of the many advantages.  Research shows that being bilingual opens doors and produces excellent students and creative thinkers,” said Esposito.

The French Immersion program would run alongside the regular English programming with teachers using similar curriculum delivery models.

Along with French Immersion, plans are in place to provide a Native Second Language program at the new school.  Also in the works is a plan to provide an enhanced program for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics that will utilize the specialty classrooms at the new St. Basil Catholic Elementary School.  Depending on need, before-and-after school programs will also be offered.  The site also boasts a stand-alone childcare centre.

“We are pleased that our newest Catholic elementary school will potentially provide these important programs that will enhance student achievement.  It was very important that we listened to the input from the parent community as we went through this consolidation process and I feel we have done just that when it comes to programs being offered at St. Basil Catholic Elementary School,” said HSCDSB Director of Education, John Stadnyk.

The zone that covers St. Basil Catholic Elementary School for both the English and French Immersion Programs will be the same boundaries as the four schools — St. Ann, St. Bernadette, St. Pius X and St. Theresa Catholic Schools — which are consolidating at the new school site.  To confirm you live within the zone, visit www.ahsts.ca.

Registrations for St. Basil Catholic Elementary School will be accepted on an ongoing basis beginning November 21.  More information on registration can be obtained by calling 705-945-5555 or emailing stbasilssm@hscdsb.on.ca. Updates on the construction project underway to prepare the new school can be found at www.hscdsb.on.ca.