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French Immersion Program Review Questions & Answers

 

Reports to Board

 

September 2009January 2010February 2010;   November 9 2010;  November 2010 Plan 

 

French Immersion Program Review Questions and Answers - November 2010

Question

Why is the French Immersion Program considered an optional program?

Answer

The Ontario Curriculum French as a Second Language states: The provision of an Extended French and/or a French Immersion program is optional; where such a program is offered, students may enrol in it rather than in a Core French program to meet the mandatory requirement for the study of French in English-language schools. 

Question

What is the cost of transporting the F.I. students?

Answer

The transportation delivery model incorporates both English and French Immersion students on the same bus.  One costing assessment would be to proportionally share the cost of each bus route equally to all riders on the route.  This method was considered due to the 20km boundary for French Immersion riders, which limits the impact of additional FI transportation costs.  However any cost impact of additional Km’s travelled due to the FI distances are averaged to all students on the bus route.  As a result, within these parameters, this review indicated the overall net FI ridership costs were not higher than the English ridership.

 

Question

 

What is the "normal" attrition rate?

Answer

We staff our classes based on the Ministry of Education requirements.  The Regular English Program classes essentially do not have a measurable attrition rate.  The average class size for kindergarten to grade 3 classes is 20 and the average class size for grade 4 to 8 is 24.1. 

Question

How has or how will Full Day Kindergarten impact the FI program?

Answer

The Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program will be implemented in all our schools over five years as directed by the Ministry of Education.  This includes the French Immersion classrooms.

Question

Why were the community, school and affected parents not given more notice of such an impactful decision? And why does it feel that this is being push through in such a short time?

Answer  

Reports were taken to Public Board throughout the review and articles did appear in the local media. The current Board of Trustees felt that they should deal with the French Immersion Program Review because it was conducted during their term.  The Trustees had requested the review be completed in time for the consultations with the Petrolia community in late November.

Question

What other delivery models were considered?

Answer

Committee members discussed middle and late immersion models as methods to perhaps address the attrition issue.  The option of single-track schools was discussed and noted as a possible next step for consideration in the Committee’s report. The Board Reports can be found at the top of this page.

Question

Why no ARC (Accommodation Review Committee)?

Answer

As this was a program review and not an accommodation review, the Ministry of Education’s pupil accommodation guidelines and the Board’s Regulations did not apply.

Question

What is the Board doing to attract qualified teachers?

Answer

Each December the Human Resources staff put out a posting for our "French Permanent Hiring Pool".  This is for positions that will commence the following September. We do this to attract quality French teachers for our Board.  Interviews are conducted in January.  Following these interviews we know approximately how many French teachers we will need the following school year.

 

The Board does not post specifically for bilingual resource teachers.  The Board issued 8 postings for elementary resource teachers during the 2009/2010 school year and one so far for the 2010/2011 school year.  There is currently one bilingual resource teacher working at one of our elementary schools.

Question

What has the Board done to promote FI in the community?

Answer

LKDSB facilitates radio ads in January or February promoting JK registration for all programs.  As well, newspaper ads run in late August for JK registration for September.  The Board has an FI section on its website that is currently being updated. Each FI School promotes its program to its community through newsletters, information evenings and celebrations. 

Question

Has the Board lobbied government for more financial support to continue this program?

Answer

Board personal talk and meet with Ministry of Education personnel on funding matters on a regular basis.  Funding is granted on a per pupil basis. 

Question

If the program is phased out, will my both my children be grandfathered, my child currently in the program and my child yet to start school?

Answer

The past practice of the Board has been to grandfather only the students currently in the program.

Question

Why were parents not invited onto the committee?

Answer

The Board’s practice for program reviews has not included parents serving on the committees. However, on the FI Program Review Committee, many of members of the members were in fact parents of FI students. Trustees served on the Committee as parents’ elected representatives. However, Senior Administration will be making recommendations to the Board to establish a new Board policy and regulations regarding program viability criteria which will include a process for involving and informing parents of both the process and outcome(s).

Question

It was stated in the Board meeting that this review has been going on for a year; can you please explain the urgency for making this decision by November 23?

Answer

The current Board of Trustees felt that they should deal with the French Immersion Program Review because it was conducted during their term.  Their term was up November 30, 2010.

 

Petrolia consultation sessions were scheduled for November/December and the Board approved recommendations that required FI report to be delivered prior.

Question

Please share alternatives discussed and why they were eliminated

Answer

The French Immersion Program Review Committee members supported the early immersion model and felt it met the needs of the students.  Committee members discussed middle and late immersion models as methods to perhaps address the attrition issue.  The option of a single-track school was discussed and was noted as a possible next step for consideration in the Committee’s report.

Question

Please provide financial information.

Answer

Please refer to the Board’s website:  www.lkdsb.net, select from menu “Board Info” – “Budget/Financials” for budget information and the Board’s Audited Financial Statements.

Question

Explain the calculation of the $722,000 cost variance.

Answer

Explanation of Variance between Current Cost Structure and Funding – French Immersion Classes:

 

Each French immersion class size was compared to the benchmarks in the Grants for Student Needs to assess the variance between the current costs and the funding provided within the School Foundation and French Immersion grants for classroom teachers.  Where class sizes are smaller than the funding benchmarks, the variance was determined.

 

For the 2009-10 school year this variance is shown in the following table:

FI School Variance in 1000's
Brooke $ 92
Sir J. Moore 109
Hillcrest – Queen Eliz. Petrolia 156
Cathcart 29
Errol Road 56
Harwich Raleigh 67
High Park 118
McNaughton - Given 95
Total = $ 722