A report from Canadian Parents for French BC and Yukon states that French Immersion enrolment in the Surrey School District is down. (Graph: Canadian Parents for French BC and Yukon)

French Immersion enrolment down in Surrey: report

District spokesman says ‘very little’ enrolment at Cougar Creek resulted in closure of program

Surrey school district’s French Immersion enrolment is down, according to a report released Tuesday.

School district spokesperson Doug Strachan says that French Immersion is down in the district, but it’s following the closure of a French Immersion program at the end of the last school year.

A report from the Canadian Parents for French B.C. and Yukon states French Immersion enrolment is down in Surrey, but Strachan says a French Immersion program created a few years ago at Cougar Creek Elementary School to accommodate parents received “very little enrolment.”

According to the report released by Canadian Parents for French B.C. and Yukon (CPF) Tuesday (Sept. 4) — the day students went back to school following summer holidays — it states that more students in B.C. are participating in French Immersion “than ever before.” The report states that French Immersion enrolment has been increasing for 20 consecutive years, but enrolment is down in Surrey.

In the 2017-2018 school year, according to CPF, 3,252 students in Surrey were registered in the program which is 4.5 per cent of the entire student body. Whereas in the same school year, 53,487 students — or 9.5 per cent of the B.C. schoolchildren — were enrolled in French Immersion. The numbers are based on public school numbers, according to CPF.

Strachan said the “decline” in French Immersion enrolment in Surrey is a result of a French Immersion program at Cougar Creek Elementary that was closed in June.

Strachan said the school district opened the program a few years ago with an enrolment of about 16-17 students. The hope, he said, was the school district could build on that.

“It, in fact, shrank,” Strachan said.

Strachan said a typical classroom in elementary schools is about 20-25 students.

“It’s difficult to commit available space to a choice program,” Strachan said. “But the (school) board did do that for French Immersion.”

However, he said, the program didn’t have enough enrolment to sustain it.

The Now-Leader reported in February that there were “significant waitlists” for early French Immersion program in Surrey, and that the district was struggling to find specialist teachers for French Immersion as well as fine arts and Montessori programs.

The release from CPF says that “as a result of the booming popularity” of French Immersion, districts around the province are “scrambling to find enough qualified teachers and teachers assistants.”

Strachan said it always is a struggle to find teachers as teachers with specialized skills are “generally in high demand.”

RELATED: ‘Significant waitlists’ for early French Immersion programs in Surrey

At the time, a report from the district stated there were 102 students on kindergarten waitlists for French Immersion programs and 58 Grade 1 students were awaiting entry.

Strachan said Wednesday (Sept. 5) that there are still waitlists at a number of schools that offer early French Immersion programs, but he added that he expects some schools will have accommodated the students in the coming weeks.

RELATED: B.C. student enrolment up, but slow compared to 2017



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Four Surrey students head to New Brunswick for Canada-wide science fair

Three projects move to nationals following regional fair at KPU

Man ‘seriously’ injured in crash after driving wrong way on Highway 17: Surrey RCMP

Police say the sedan hit a transport truck, then another car

Easter ‘eggstravaganza’ event planned for South Surrey

Event is to run from 12-3 p.m. at Dufferin Park (17355 2 Ave.).

Surrey resident says proposed apartment building is a ‘monstrosity’ in Whalley neighbourhood

Philip Galbraith says he voted for Safe Surrey Coalition to ‘slow down development’

Update: Surrey Mounties found missing man

Kuldip Sandhu, 41, had been reported missing

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

VIDEO: Giants draw first blood in Western Conference championships

In Game 1 of the best-of-seven series between Vancouver and Spokane, the G-Men emerged triumphant

Multiple people injured after deck collapses during celebration

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Rats available for adoption in Vancouver

In a social media post the City of Vancouver says you can adopt a rat for $5.

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Crews battle Burnaby blaze; 2 people sent to hospital

Emergency Support Services helping residents displaced by fire

Most Read