French Immersion Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a lottery for Kindergarten? 

There will not be a lottery for the French Immersion program during the 2019-2020 school year.

When do current Tuscany community Kindergarten register for French Immersion Grade 1?

Kindergarten students currently enrolled in the community program at Tuscany School can register for Grade 1French Immersion at any time. Office hours for registration are from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM on weekdays.

Are there any plans for Twelve Mile Coulee to become a dual-track school with a French Immersion program? There are currently no plans to introduce a French Immersion program at Twelve Mile Coulee School. Students enrolled in French Immersion at Tuscany School from Kindergarten to Grade 5 will move to F.E. Osborne School.

Will there be separate schools for French and English or will they be integrated?

Instruction in French will take place in individual classrooms at each grade level. French Immersion classrooms will be integrated in the same area of the school by grade. In the spirit of creating a cohesive school environment, French classrooms will be located next to their English counterparts.

Will there be separate assemblies, celebrations and special events?

Assemblies, celebrations and special events will take place in English, French and sometimes Blackfoot as we build a cohesive multilingual (Blackfoot, French and English) community at Tuscany School. Celebrating French traditions and events such as Carnaval will be part of the learning experience at Tuscany School. Moreover, Tuscany staff is currently engaging in Carnaval events at Banff Trail School and Varsity Acres School to gain an understanding of how these events could be planned for students at Tuscany next year.

What about school displays

Displays around the school will be in French and English and Blackfoot, when appropriate. Learning Commons resources will be in English and French, and with funding available for resourcing our new French Immersion program, we will ensure that high quality French learning materials are available for all students at Tuscany School.

How will field trips be organized

Field trips will take place in English and/or French depending on the academic purpose of the activities and the availability of French speakers and resources at the chosen sites. Teachers and students in French Immersion will speak French on these trips when and wherever possible.

Is the focus on art, technology and citizenship as strong in the French program? 

Yes, the only difference between programming in our community and French Immersion programs is that teaching and learning take place in French in the French Immersion program. With the exception of Language Arts, the programs of study are the same for Math, Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, Physical Education, Music and Fine Arts.

What about classroom processes and agendas? Classroom processes and agendas are determined by teachers in collaboration with their colleagues and in alignment with the expectations of the programs of study for all students, whether they are learning in English or French.

How are you planning to integrate incoming students and the new French Immersion program? 

This work has already begun through our Open Houses in January where parents and students were welcomed to our school community and offered school tours to familiarize themselves with our school environment and offerings. Students transferring in from Varsity Acres School and Banff Trail School will be invited to a welcome celebration including a school orientation within the context of a field trip this spring. We will also organize a Welcome assembly for all students new to Tuscany School.

Will school council be the same with two programs? 

Tuscany School Council will meet and function as a cohesive group advocating for all students and programming at Tuscany School.

What are the Kindergarten hours? How many Kindergarten classes will you have?

AM Kindergarten: Monday – Thursday 8:30 – 11:16 AM

PM Kindergarten: Monday – Thursday 12:09 – 2:55 PM

Early Dismissal Days: 8:30 am – 12:40 PM

The number of Kindergarten classes will depend on enrollment figures which will be available later this spring. Parents are encouraged to register their children for Kindergarten and Grade One as early as possible to facilitate program organization.

What are the bell times for Grades 1-4 (eventually Grade 5)

Monday – Thursday: 8:30 – 11:30 AM

Lunch: 11:30 – 12:20 PM

Afternoon 12:20 – 2:55 PM

Early Dismissal Days: 8:30 AM – 12:40 PM (Recess 10:15-10:30 and no lunch)

Classroom configuration/class size/splits? How many classes of each grade do you expect?

How will the teacher to student ratios be? 

Until enrollment numbers have been finalized, we will not know the number of classrooms or how classrooms will be configured.

Where is the qualified staff going to come from? What will the quality of French instruction be like? 

The CBE has a team of educators assigned to teacher staffing whose role is to interview and procure teachers to meet the demands of regular, alternative and specialized programming within the CBE. As part of the process, recruiters travel across Canada and around the globe to interview potential teachers who have second languages including French, Spanish, Mandarin and German to teach in our immersion and bilingual programs. This is an ongoing process each year to meet current and future programming needs in the system.

The CBE is actively hiring well-qualified K-12 French teachers and is able to meet the demand for French teachers to fill vacant positions within the CBE. Our recruitment of graduates from across Canada provides our system with excellent teachers who can teach in our French Immersion/French Second Language programs. For our two new French Immersion programs at Tuscany School and F. E. Osborne School, 50% of the staff will be hired in the early spring of 2019 and the other 50% will be hired through the annual staffing processes in May and June.

All teachers in the CBE access professional learning in high-impact pedagogical strategies for teaching and learning. In addition, our second-language teachers access professional learning in second-language pedagogy such as Content and Language-Integrated Learning, the Neurolinguistic Approach and Inclusion in Second-Language Contexts.

Teachers on continuous contract with the CBE who have taught for 2 or more years in their current location have the opportunity to apply for position vacancies each year. For these continuous contract teachers, decisions about whether to remain at a school or apply to a new school are individual decisions, just as some teachers can decide each year to retire or take a leave of absence. School principals work with teacher staffing recruiters each spring to determine teacher needs based on the enrolment projections for the following school year. This same process occurs when new programs are offered at a school for the first time.

Will the students get to visit the school before September? When do the students get to come and check out this awesome school? 

Students will have the opportunity to visit Tuscany School before the end of the current school year. There will be a Kindergarten Open House in May for Kindergarten students, inviting them to explore all facets of their new school. There will also be visits organized during the school day for students transferring from Varsity Acres School and Banff Trail School to Tuscany School. These visits will consist of invitations to celebrations and special events. Tuscany School staff will also visit students at Varsity Acres School and Banff Trail School to learn more about their current school context and welcome them to Tuscany School.

What is the current enrolment capacity at Tuscany School? 

Tuscany School has a capacity of approximately 660 students. For the 2018-2019 school year, there are currently 379 students registered in the community program.

Will busing fees apply for students in French Immersion? 

Information regarding transportation fees for the French Immersion program can be accessed through the following link:

Currently alternative programs such as French Immersion are serviced through a congregated stop model. This means that stops may be beyond a walkable distance for students. Access and supervision to, from and at the bus stop are a parental responsibility.

What about lunchroom and other fees? 

Noon hour supervision is required for students in Grades 1-6. For the 2018-2019 school year, the annual fee for this service is $265.00. This fee is consistent across the system and is determined as part of the spring budget process.

Individual fees may be charged for special events, such as field trips, swimming and the milk program.

What other special programs does the school offer?

Students in Kindergarten-4 at Tuscany School participate in swimming. Students also take part in an Alien In-line skating program.

Future consideration will be given to offering a ski program for Division II students at Tuscany once Grade Five is established in the school.

What about Outdoor School? 

While nothing has been confirmed yet, we are planning to offer Outdoor School in Grade Six at F. E. Osborne School.

What are the extracurricular activities and clubs that are offered? 

Tuscany School currently offers a Mad Science program that is parent purchased. Sound Kreations, a dance program in English and French, is also available for our students. There is also a parent-run BOKS functional fitness morning program.

What types of special events and programs does Tuscany School have planned for the year? 

As discussed at our evening Open Houses, special events and extracurricular activities will be planned collaboratively with all our school community members. Specific planning will take place this spring with our School Council and all parents are encouraged to join us in this work.

School Council Dates: see our Calendar page.

Will there be consideration given to adding school patrols for Grade 5? 

We will consider school patrols when the school has Grade 5 students. This would involve collaboration with our AMA partners and Calgary Police Service to determine viability.

Will there be Grade 5 graduation? 

There will be a Grade 4 and Grade 5 (moving forward) Farewell where students and teachers collaboratively plan a special event.

What are the after-school care options in Tuscany, Rocky Ridge and Royal Oak? 

Before and after care exists in Rocky Ridge, Royal Oak and Tuscany for students attending Tuscany School. Please explore options in your community for further information.

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Over the past two days we have been very fortunate to work again with Elder Shirley Hill.

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