Why Middle Immersion for Perth Ave P.S.?

Our parents' group has discussed all the French language instruction options with the TDSB staff, the TDSB French as a Second Language Advisory Committee, and with Principal Janice Robinson. From this discussion it is clear that if there is to be a more intensive French instruction option, Middle Immersion is the most appropriate for this school. Here are the main reasons.

1) Space is limited at Perth Ave P.S. and will become more limited with additional classroom space required for all-day kindergarten classes.

2) An early immersion (beginning in SK) program requires two full classes of French Immersion students because there is a lot of attrition from the program in the first few years as students' aptitude for and interest in the language becomes more clear. The TDSB requires that students from the school's catchment area provide the equivalent of one of these classes (approx. 20 students), with the other class being drawn from other schools.

Based on the number of French Immersion applications from Perth Ave P.S. students over the past several years, it is doubtful that the Perth Ave P.S. area would provide these 20 interested students in a single year. However, the Middle Immersion French program (starting in grade 4) only requires 1 class (20 students), or 10 students from Perth. This number will be easier to attract. One class of French students will also require less space in the crowded school than the two SK classes would.

3) There are many students at Perth Ave P.S. who do not speak English at home. This means that by SK, they are typically not strong enough in English to make it practical for them to introduce yet another language into their curriculum. By grade 4, these students will have much stronger English skills and be more equipped to succeed in a French Immersion program. This makes it more likely that a sufficient number of students would be recruited to make a French Immersion program viable if that program started in grade 4 instead of SK.