[lg policy] Ontario: French school enrolment on the rise

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Jan 29 16:56:02 UTC 2015

 French school enrolment on the rise 7
 By Aedan Helmer <http://www.ottawasun.com/author/aedan-helmer>, Ottawa Sun

First posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 08:24 PM EST | Updated:
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 08:27 PM EST
[image: School classroom for students, teachers in Ottawa] (Ottawa Sun file

 French-language schools in the province have surpassed the milestone of
100,000 students enrolled across Ontario's 12 French school boards, an
increase of 1,845 students over the previous academic year.

Enrolment has increased steadily at a rate of about 2% province-wide over
the past decade, though those numbers are considerably higher in Ottawa,
with an estimated 5% growth in student population year-over-year.

The steady increase can be traced back to 2004, when the Ontario government
adopted a linguistic policy for French-language education focusing on "the
appropriation of francophone culture, academic achievement, student
recruitment, community involvement and early childhood education."

The policy is paying dividends, said Gyslaine Hunter-Perreault,
spokesperson for French-Language Education.

"One of the pillars of the policy is really the vitality of the
French-language community, and the more people coming to our schools, the
more francophones overall, the better the French community will be," she

Boards across the province -- including both French Catholic and French
public boards in the Ottawa region -- have also bolstered their recruitment
and promotional efforts.

"Every school board has their recruitment and marketing strategy, but on
top of that, the French-language policy (helps) in making their existence
known," said Hunter-Perreault.

"Ten years ago, maybe not as many people knew about the existence of
French-language school boards and the fact they could be very successful."

Standardized testing results at French-language boards compare favourably
with their English-language counterparts.

The schools are also seeing a sharp increase in immigrant population,
including children whose mother tongue is neither English nor French.

In the last academic year, 7,917 students in French-language schools were
born outside Canada, representing nearly 8% of the total student population.

Hunter-Perreault said the milestone is proof the French-language system
"has been a good example of serving the communities throughout the


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