The school year spanning 2023/2024 may be the beginning of planned French Immersion class settings implemented solely at École Arthur Meighen School. That's the current plan.

Portage la Prairie School Division Trustee Vice President Tracey Asham says the news was part of the State of The City address given Thursday evening.
"There's lots of work to be done in the next few years because we also did receive grants from the Bureau of Education of Français and provincial and federal governments for French Revitalization," says Asham. "We're going to be embarking on creating a single-track K-8 French Immersion School. That will be at École Arthur Meighen, and then Crescentview will become an English school."

Asham says the plan is to implement it as soon as possible. She explains meetings with stakeholders and the school board took place, and all who were present felt it makes the most sense to bring the change, while research reveals the continuity aspect is important between those grades.

"If they're speaking one language, that'll just create better understanding, and the program will flourish a bit better," continues Asham. "Plus the staffing would be easier to maintain their skills in French as they are not going back and forth between French and English."

She notes it is happening in other school divisions, and researchers feel it is a necessary change to make. 

"It is important, if you're going to have French Immersion, to have it so that it is more concentrated and in the one school rather than a dual track," adds Asham. 

Crescentview will offer French classes for those who want it, but it won't use a French Immersion system. Parents will choose which format their children should attend, and ensure they register their children to be enrolled in the particular system.

Asham says they issued surveys to parents and staff that provided mixed results. 

"The thought of separating is, maybe, a little bit concerning for some people," notes Asham. "But I think, mostly, there was positive feedback, especially from the parents of the French Immersion students."