Saanich schools offer French Immersion as an optional program. In this program, students whose mother tongue is not French are taught all or most of their subjects in French. The entry point into this program is Kindergarten and Grade 1 where space allows. The program is offered through Grade 12.
The main objective of the Saanich French Immersion Program is to provide students in French Immersion with an education equivalent to that which is available to other students in the District. Without compromising the students' knowledge of the various subjects or their ability in English, students should acquire a high level of proficiency in spoken and written French and should, upon graduation, be functionally bilingual. Students are expected to be at a level in English Language Arts equivalent to students in the regular program by Grade 5.
Any child residing in the SD63 catchment area may enter the Early French Immersion Programs. Out-of-district families are also accommodated when possible. Out of Area registration forms are available at the Board Office. Any student wishing to enter French Immersion after Grade 1 must be able to demonstrate grade level competence through a District assessment.
Schools currently supporting the Saanich French Immersion program are Deep Cove Elementary School (K-5), Keating Elementary School (K-5), Bayside Middle School (6-8), and Stelly's Secondary School (9-12).
Please note: Students in kindergarten through grade 5 who are in the Deep Cove or Sidney catchment areas may register in French Immersion at Deep Cove Elementary. All other catchments areas attend Keating Elementary.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
All schools in Saanich District offer English as a Second Language (ESL) support. We celebrate the diversity of our student population and promote a climate of acceptance and respect for all. We believe that ESL support should not only help our students develop their overall English abilities in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing; but also help to create a strong foundation so all students can reach their potential. In addition to academic support, we emphasize the importance of emotional, social, and cultural support for our students.
English as a Second Language service in our District is provided by specialty teachers who have been specifically trained in to teach English language learners. Support may be provided in-class, in small pull-out groups, or a combination of these two models. ESL. teachers provide regular service to students. As well, they administer an annual ESL. assessment and create an annual instruction plan (AIP) for each student. To qualify for ESL support, students must have a primary language other than English and be Canadian citizens, residents, or landed immigrants.