Deep Cove elementary school is among four schools in School District 63 (Saanich) that offer French immersion. Just over 10 per cent of the district’s student population have registered in the district’s French immersion program. Black Press File.

Saanich school district boasts ‘robust’ French immersion program

Just under 11 per cent of students in School District 63 are in French immersion

A local school district boasts one of the highest shares of students in French immersion.

Statistics from the Canadian Parents for French British Columbia and Yukon show 10.8 per cent of students in School District 63 (Saanich) – 912 – had registered in French immersion, a new record, according to the organization. The provincial figure was 9.5 per cent – 53,487 students across British Columbia.

“French [immersion] is a highly sought after program of choice in Saanich schools,” said David Eberwein, superintendent, when asked about the numbers. “We currently have two elementary schools, a middle school and a secondary school, which house our [French immersion] program. All [four] schools are dual-track and have a robust enrolment.”

RELATED: Pressure to recruit French immersion teachers with increasing enrolment in B.C.

RELATED: French immersion grows at record pace in Sooke School District

According to estimated figures, Deep Cove Elementary has approximately 215 French immersion students, while Keating Elementary has 326 students. Bayside Middle school has approximately 212 French immersion students, while Stelly’s secondary has about 215 students for a total number of 968 students – a figure above but in line with the figures from the Canadian Parents for French.

Overall, the report shows that provincewide, French immersion enrolment has been increasing for 20 consecutive years. “As a result of the booming popularity of this well-established program, districts around the province are scrambling to find enough qualified teachers and teaching assistants,” it reads.

Eberwein can relate.

“As most districts in the province continue to do, we look for highly qualified French immersion teachers,” he said. “At this time, we have filled all of our classrooms but are experiencing a shortage on our [teachers-on-call] list. We would like to add a few more [French immersion] teachers to this list if possible. With the program being in high demand, finding qualified teachers is certainly an ongoing focus for us.”

Local universities continue to graduate French immersion specialists, but it is an area where demand is outstripping local supply, said Eberwein, adding that the province is working to improve out-of-province recruitment.

For Eberwein, French immersion has become an integral part of the school district, home to 7,020 students.

“The [French immersion] program brings a wonderful culture to our district as French [immersion] is not just a program that teaches curriculum in French, but our teachers do a wonderful job of enriching the program with French culture, songs and traditions,” he said. “It is well established and continues to be an important component of our program offerings.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Central Saanich strawberry farmer reports bumper crop

Strawberry season could last well into October

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Oak Bay community invited to News’ 5th annual readers tea

Oak Bay News, Carlton House host Sept. 17 afternoon tea

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Tragic bus crash, Pacific FC win and Terry Fox runs

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read