French as a Second Language Program Review
With over 94,000 students in Core French and another 29,000 students in French Immersion/Extended French programs there are system successes and challenges. We are proud of the Board’s successes in retention rate, inclusion of students with special education needs, English Language Learners, as well as accessibility and transportation. At the same time, challenges include multiple entry points, equity of access, efficient use of staffing and transportation.
FSL Recommendations Approved by Board
In June 2019, the Board of Trustees approved the changes to Intensive FSL programs, that is, to restructure the Board’s intensive FSL programs leading to a single program model with two entry points and the elimination of all other entry points. Therefore, Junior Kindergarten (JK) and Grade 4 were identified as the two Immersion entry points. The streamlining of entry points will increase access to an intensive FSL program for students in the board. It will permit the focus of resources, both material and human, in order to serve students better, and to strengthen the Core French programming that serves all students in Grades 4-9 (and beyond) in TDSB schools who do not choose an intensive FSL program. This will also allow for a more effective deployment of FSL qualified teachers.
For more information, please refer to the Q&A – FSL Program Review Recommendations.
As a result of the approved recommendations, staff will:
- implement changes to support the Junior Kindergarten entry point for September 2022, the Middle French Immersion Grade 4 entry point for September 2021, and the phase out of all other entry points;
- transform the experience for students in Core French programs by implementing the Core French Action Plan;
- continue to build FSL teachers, Principals and staff capacity regarding inclusion in FSL programs through job-embedded professional learning;
- work with key stakeholders on the redistribution of intensive French programs to ensure more fair and equitable access across the system.
French as a Second Language Implementation Plan
Changes to the French as a Second Language programs are being phased in over the next few years and will result in a single program model with two entry points – Junior Kindergarten (beginning 2022) and Grade 4 Middle French Immersion (beginning in 2021).
These changes are focused on increasing access and strengthening the Core French programming for all students in Grades 4 to 9 and beyond. At the foundation of this decision is a commitment to ensuring that access to intensive FSL programming is fair and equitable across the TDSB. Currently, optimal staffing levels in elementary intensive French Programs are not always attainable because of the various entry points and the optional nature of the programs. With the planned changes to intensive French Programs implemented, TDSB will be able to staff programs in a more optimal way to benefit all students.
- The Early French Immersion Senior Kindergarten (SK) entry point will transition to the Junior Kindergarten (JK) entry point beginning September 2022.
- The Junior Extended French program (Grade 4 entry) will be phased out as the Middle French Immersion program (Grade 4 entry) begins.
- Students who begin the Grade 4 Junior Extended French in September 2020 will be able to complete Grade 8 in Extended French. There will be no new Grade 9 Extended French in September 2025.
- Students who complete the Grade 8 Junior Extended French program in June of 2025 and who are interested in a continuation of program will be accommodated in the French Immersion program in Grade 9 in September 2025.
- The Middle French Immersion program (Grade 4 entry) will begin in September 2021.
- The first application period for interested students in the Grade 3 English program will be January 2021.
- The Grade 7 Entry Extended French program will phase out.
- The last group of students to begin the Grade 7 Entry Extended French program will begin in September 2022.
- The Grade 6 Intensive Extended French program at Cosburn MS will phase out.
- The last group of students to begin the Grade 6 Intensive Extended French program will begin in September 2021.