There are some exciting programs in store for French immersion students in the Foothills.

Speaking to the Foothills School Division Board of Trustees on Wednesday, January 16, Divisional French Immersion Facilitator Lesley Doell spoke of past successes with French programs in the Foothills, as well as some upcoming opportunities.

Doell says grade five students will have an opportunity to switch into a French immersion program.

"We're opening up a Late-Entry French Immersion Program as of grade 5. I'll be going to speak to all of the students in Okotoks and the surrounding area to the grade 4 students to encourage them, if they are interested, to enrol in the Late-Entry French Immersion starting in grade 5 which will be happening at Percy Pegler."

A Junior Kindergarten French immersion program will also be available at Percy Pegler and Joe Clark schools, allowing students to start with a second language at an early age.

A reciprocal student exchange will also be available in the Spring, as well as reciprocal job shadowing for teachers.

Doell also spoke briefly about Canada's shortage of French teachers, with retention and recruitment for the high demand of French Immersion programs being current issues.

She says the Provincial government has had a few meetings on the subject, but has not yet made a statement on how the issue is to be addressed.

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