One of the recommendations that came from the consultation process for Vision 2020, the Board’s Multi-year Strategic Plan, was for the Board to implement French Immersion. The Program will be fully implemented, ELKP to Grade 8, in designated elementary sites by September 2020. The program will then impact the secondary schools between 2021-2025.
The program operates under the Niagara Catholic French Immersion Policy 400.7
The program began operating in September 2013 at five Niagara Catholic elementary schools:
- ELKP and Grade 1 at five (5) sites located at St. Mark Catholic Elementary School, Beamsville, for the Blessed Trinity Family of schools;
- Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School, Niagara Falls, for the Saint Paul Family of Schools;
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary School, Niagara Falls for the Saint Michael Family of Schools;
- Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School, St. Catharines for the Saint Francis, Denis Morris and Holy Cross Family of Schools;
- Holy Name, Welland for the Notre Dame College Family of Schools.
The French Immersion Program impacts the use of school facilities and was considered in the development of the Long Term Accommodation Plan. As the program matures, consideration must be given to the ability of the existing sites to absorb the additional enrollment and the need to potentially move to new locations.
The Niagara Catholic District School Board Long Term Accommodation Plan 2016-2021 recommends that the French Immersion program for the following school communities be considered in 2016-2017 to move the next school year.
- St. John and St. Mark (2016-2017)
- Alexander Kuska and Holy Name (2016-2017)
- Notre Dame and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (2016-2017)
- Our Lady of Fatima and Assumption (2018-2019)
It is recommended that St. Michael Catholic Elementary School be considered as a potential French Immersion site for 2017-2018.
It is recommended that Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School, St. Catharines, be considered to be a single-track French Immersion site beginning in 2018-2019.