Starting in September 2020, Barr Colony School will offer French immersion programming for the 2020-2021 school year. Kindergarten and first-grade levels will become dual-tracked, offering both anglophone and French immersion schooling. Director of Education for LPSD, Todd Robinson, says the program is meant to enhance public school programming here in the Border City.
“For new families that are coming to Lloydminster that might want to start their kids in Kindergarten this year, to know that there’s a French immersion option starting in 2020, it sets them up to be able to do that, and certainly next year’s kindergarten class would have the opportunity to start in French immersion,” says Robinson.
Robinson says the division has heard from public school families interested in immersion programming. Historically, there has been only one French immersion school in the Catholic school division. The LPSD Board of Education has considered this programming for some time, says Robinson, and if successful may expand the program into higher grade levels.
“It’s a decision we’ll leverage with growth every year. So if we start with K-1, the following year we’ll add a grade two class, and then the following year a grade three class. So eventually it will become a dual-track K-6 school,” says Robinson, adding a number of updates need to be made in order to complete this transition.
“There’s a lot of work to be done around hiring the right principal, about making sure we have totally fluent staff, signage, those sorts of things. A lot of planning that has to happen between now and then.”
Robinson says that Barr Colony School is a good candidate to try this program because it has a low enrolment. The program will need at least 15 students to operate. Significant consultation such as surveys and face to face meetings will begin with the community at the beginning of fall 2019 to discuss the new dual-track program.