School board gauges interest in EFSL program for Clearview 0
STAYNER – The Simcoe County District School Board is conducting a survey to gauge interest in having an Extended French as a Second Language program in Clearview Township.
The EFSL program begins in Grade 5 with at least 50% of the curriculum in French. The board currently has nine EFSL elementary sites and eight secondary school programs.
Jane Hofmann, principal of curriculum at SCDSB, says the intent of the ESFL program is to have 1,880 hours of instruction in French by the end of Grade 8.
The proposed location for the program is Clearview Meadows Elementary School in Stayner.
The board ran a feasibility study in November, 2011, surveying parents with students in Grade 4 at Byng Public School, Clearview Meadows Elementary School, Duntroon Public School, Nottawa Elementary School, Nottawasaga & Creemore Public School, and New Lowell Central Public School.
According to the report, out of 179 families who responded, only 18 showed interest.
Some parents expressed concerns about transportation, moving their child to another school without their friends, and the safety of crossing Highway 26 in Stayner.
The board recommended not to go ahead with the program for September, 2012, as a minimum of 24 students are required to establish an EFSL class.
Since 25 parents with students in Grade 3 expressed interest, it was advised they conduct a new survey.
Currently, the closest elementary school that hosts EFSL is Admiral Collingwood Elementary School.
Parents with students in Grade 4 in Clearview Township are invited to attend an EFSL information session at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Stayner Collegiate Institute.
“We are really trying to tap into the community and get as much feedback as we can to make an informed decision,” said Hofmann.
She says the program at the other sites has been successful and it is a positive program.
“Being that we live in a bilingual country, Extended French is a program that a number of boards are running, so we are continuing to run it because there is interest,” she said.
Hofmann says there has been no formal assessment of the surveys yet, but to date they do indicate interest in the program.
The feasibility study closes on Friday Oct. 19.