School board reverses French immersion decision

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board voted Tuesday in favour of considering major changes to its French immersion program for the fall of 2016, a year sooner than expected, against the recommendations of an OCDSB committee. 

School board trustees initially voted last week in favour of delaying a decision until 2017 after some parents expressed concerns that proper consultation had not been done.   The worry is that the proposed changes will weaken the French immersion program early on.

The board reversed its decision Tuesday by vote after a report from Director of Education Jennifer Adams and Chief Financial Officer Michael Carson found the changes could save the OCDSB upwards of $2.7 million.  

Suggested changes to the program would see children in both junior and senior kindergarten go from 20 minutes of French immersion to 150 minutes – or half their school day. 

Students in Grades 1 to 3 would see their classroom time in immersion reduced to 180 minutes a day, from either 300 or 240. 

More information about the changes can be found at the OCDSB’s website.