9:30 p.m., Feb. 3)
OCDSB poised to increase kindergarten French instruction
By Fred Sherwin
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is one step away
from passing a number of changes to its kindergarten and
Early French Immersion programs.
board's trustees met as a committee of the whole Tuesday
night to hear from parents upset over the proposed changes
which include increasing French instruction in both junior
and senior kindergarten, and switching math instruction
in the Early French Immersion program in Grades 1 to 3
from French to English.
the changes would increase French instruction in junior
and senior kindergarten from 40 minutes a day to 150 minutes
a day, making for a 50/50 split.
proposed changes will bring the public board more in line
with the Ottawa Catholic School Board which has been using
the 50/50 French/English split in junior and senior kindergarten
for nearly 20 years. They changes will also yield an additional
$2 million in funding from the province.
of those who spoke against the proposed changes were worried
about the impact they would have on kindergarten students
with special needs, most notably students with speech
staff countered that argument by claiming that bilingual
instruction would create a level playing field for children
who are under-represented in the board's Early French
Immersion program, such as children with special needs,
newcomers who dont speak English, and kids from
argument is that by increasing French instruction in kindergarten,
and switching math instruction to English in Grades 1
to 3, more of these children will chose to continue their
education in the EFI stream.
the trustees had heard from nearly a dozen parents, the
committee voted in favour of the staff recommendations
which included using some of the $2 million in additional
funding from the province to provide additional support
for kindergarten students.
the meeting Orléans-Cumberland trustee Keith Penny
said the 65-70 concerned parents in the room were part
of a vocal minority, and most of the parents he's talked
are in favour of the changes which will come into effect
trustees are expected to ratify the changes at the next
board meeting on Feb. 9.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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