VSB increases number of spaces for French Immersion students next school year

Schools & Students

French Immersion continues to be a popular choice for parents registering their children to start school in Vancouver. In fact, interest in French Immersion is growing across BC and across Canada. Unfortunately, there continues to be a shortage of qualified French Immersion teachers across the country, making it difficult for school boards to keep up with the demand for the program. 


Last month, VSB Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman traveled to Europe with the Ministry of Education and BC Teachers Federation to build on the Province's efforts to recruit French-language teachers to help address the shortage in BC. The delegation met with representatives from the French and Belgian education sectors to discuss opportunities for students in French-speaking teacher training programs wishing to become teachers, and for existing teachers, to work in BC.  

In Spring 2017, the Vancouver School Board had to reduce the number of spaces in French Immersion for kindergarten enrolment in the 2017-18 school year, as a result of the teacher shortage and as the district implemented the restored class size and composition language. At that timeVSB agreed to explore other strategies to expand a grade one intake for French Immersion for the 2018-2019 school year 


After an extensive twelve-month recruitment campaign, the district has been able to add about 100 spaces for Grade 1 in French Immersion schools as a result of staffing more efficientlyEach of the 13 schools that offer Early French Immersion have added Grade 1 students. 


“VSB’s recruitment teams continue to work extremely hard to attract more French Immersion teachers to our district,” says Janet Fraser, chair of the Vancouver School Board. “I’m so impressed that our district has used a parallel strategy to add French Immersion spaces at Grade one for students who were not able to secure a Kindergarten place last year. 


Applications for these spaces closed March 31. draw was held to determine which applications would be accepted. Parents were notified in early April, and those new students will join their French Immersion classmates in September 2018.