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Interest in French Immersion growing in Grande Prairie

Alberta saw the largest enrolment in French immersion in nearly four decades last year, a trend also seen in the Grande Prairie Public School District. Superintendent Carol Ann McDonald says they’ve seen 27 per cent more students in French immersion since 2011.

“I think our families are certainly looking for a choice. Many of our families commit to French Immersion early on, and our numbers each year are growing in the early grades coming in.”

488 students were enrolled in French Immersion in 2011, and that number grew to 664 this year. Alberta-wide, almost 42,000 student were enrolled in 2014/2015, an increase of almost 4.5 per cent over the previous year.

The school district added a late entry French immersion program for grade five students last year, which has since been expanded due to a high demand. McDonald explains once the new Riverstone school opens, English students from École Montrose will move there and to Aspen Grove, while the French students from Parkside will take their place.

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“For Grande Prairie Public, it’s been a while. Our parents have been very patient with us, so that we could have one track, single track French Immersion site. It is coming and we’re pretty excited about it.”

McDonald also hopes to see full French Immersion for high school in the new future.

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