French as a Second Language

Parents of children entering Grade 1 in September have a program choice to make regarding learning French as a second language. The York Region District School Board offers two quality French as a Second Language programs, Core French and French Immersion:

  • Core French consists of 40 minutes per day of French instruction beginning in Grade 4 at your local school. Enrollment in Core French is automatic when a child reaches Grade 4. Core French is compulsory from Grade 4 to Grade 9.
  • French Immersion is an optional program that consists of full-day French instruction starting in Grade 1, at a designated school in your attendance area. Registration is necessary.


What is French Immersion?

  • In French Immersion, students receive instruction in French in a variety of subjects from a teacher who speaks French fluently
  • The French Immersion program begins in Grade 1 and is designed for children whose first language is not French.
  • In Grades 1, 2 and 3, all subjects are taught in French. Starting in Grade 4, time is shared equally between French and English instruction.
  • The French Immersion program continues in high school. Please refer to Secondary School Programs at a Glance for a list of schools offering French Immersion or the school locator to determine which Secondary School offers French Immersion for your address.
  • Secondary school students must earn at least 10 French Immersion credits to qualify for the French Immersion Certificate upon graduation.
  • All interested parents/guardians are encouraged to attend their local French Immersion School Information Night at their designated attendance area.


Important Considerations

  • In order to meet community needs and optimize space in schools, students may begin the French Immersion program in one school, but continue in a different school.
  • Space requirements at some schools may mean that siblings are in different schools for primary dual track French Immersion programs due to differing grade structures.
  • Like any of our schools across the Board, changes to school boundaries, and/or the accommodation model for the French Immersion program may need to be considered when new schools open, a school experiences enrollment growth, and program changes occur.
  • For the first few months of Grade 1, the children do not acquire skills identical to those learned by children in an English program as the focus is on learning in French.
  • There may be certain lags in English Language Arts skills in the first few years of the program, but by the end of the elementary grades, successful French Immersion students perform as well as their peers in a regular English program.
  • Communication with parents/guardians is in English including, but not limited to, report cards, newsletters and parent-teacher interviews.
  • Reading to a child at home in a child's native language can strengthen literacy skills. Research studies confirm that children achieve greater academic success when parents read frequently (daily) to them.



Transportation is provided in accordance with Board Policy and Procedure #680.0, Student Transportation. Students are picked up and dropped off at centrally located points established by Student Transportation Services. Students may be required to walk a few blocks to get to their bus stop. Pick-up times may be earlier or later than the pick-up times for other students in York Region public schools.



For a list of schools that offer the FI program and information on how to register, visit our registration page.



Speak to the principal of the public school offering the program serving your attendance area.