French Immersion in Toronto Catholic Schools
As real estate agents who know a whole lot about schools, our clients ask us about French Immersion programs at Catholic schools in the City of Toronto quite frequently. Our clients feel that French Immersion schools provide “better education”, and this is based on EQAO stats through recent years. This is not without merit. At public schools in Oakville and York Region, where you can directly regionally-compare the EQAO pass-rates of French Immersion students vs. English-track students, we found a 17% difference in performance in 2014. Does that mean that FI students perform 17% better than English-track students? Not necessarily, as the program does indeed attract students from (generally) more-concerned parents. But the numbers are certainly intriguing.
Here is information about the French Immersion programs at Catholic schools in Toronto…
- In Toronto, French Immersion for Catholic schools starts in Junior Kindergarten, where the learning is 100% in French until Grade 3, and only at that point is English learning gradually introduced. The amount of English learning then gradually increases until Grade 5, when the learning in each language becomes 50/50 (50% learning in English, 50% learning in French). This model goes on until Grade 8, and then the program is continued at select Catholic secondary schools in Toronto.
- Getting into the French Immersion program at the Junior Kindergarten level in Toronto is a little difficult. Because of the popularity of the program, the application process begins at 8am at a select date in either January or February (it’s different for each school). At that time, you keep dialing until you get through – it’s like calling for concert tickets. But once you get through, you’re basically “in” the program, if space is still available by the time you actually get through.
- For a fuller breakdown of the Catholic French Immersion program and for key “Open House” dates, please visit the Toronto Catholic Board’s FI web-page HERE.
- A list of the Catholic schools in Toronto that offer French Immersion programs is at the bottom of this page. (We have chosen not to rank them, at this time.)
Why such a demand for French Immersion? Perhaps a comment from “Willy999” on the cbc.ca forums puts it best… He wrote:
“Some of the demand for French Immersion comes from parents who view the program as a better learning environment for their children as opposed to a program that stresses French. The program is viewed as a “private school” within the public system. The demand for French Immersion could be reduced by offering these parents an alternative English based program.”
It is true that schools with French Immersion programs generally do better in the EQAO tests than schools without. Is this indicative of the level of education given, or is it just that they attract a “smarter” student? We believe it is more of the latter. However, we still recommend these French Immersion schools to our clients as most parents would prefer to have their children be influenced by peers who do well in school.
THERE IS SO MUCH TO KNOW about Catholic French Immersion in Toronto, including the crazy boundaries that may change from year to year! Be very careful when moving to Toronto that you know exactly where your child is going to be attending.
Here is the list of the 7 Catholic elementary schools servicing Toronto that currently offer the French Immersion program:
CATHOLIC FRENCH IMMERSION SCHOOLS IN TORONTO
Here is a list of the Catholic High Schools in Toronto that currently offer the French Immersion program:
- Senator O’Connor SS