Surging popularity in French Immersion over the past number of years has reached the point that the two Catholic French Immersion elementary schools in London are nearing full capacity. The London District Catholic School Board is implementing a cap on the number of Junior Kindergarten (JK) registrations they will allow for the 2017-18 school year.
As is the case in other school boards, the sudden increase in demand for French Immersion has proven difficult to predict. One of the schools has seen JK enrollment double in just the past five years. As enrollment continues to grow, the board needs to implement a cap so as to not exceed the capacity of the school buildings.
The recently expanded St. Anthony school in south London already has nearly 75 JK registrations for the Fall. Their cap of 80 is well within reach and the school already has close to the maximum number of portables allowed.
A brand new St. John school, located in Hyde Park, will open in September. While there currently is not a cap for St. John, that could quickly change closer to September. New schools often see a surge in enrollment once construction is completed and it is expected that St. John’s will be at capacity when it opens.
“We haven’t seen anything like this for nearly 20 years,” said Linda Staudt, Director of Education. “It’s a challenge for us from a planning perspective, but it is wonderful to see such a huge demand for our schools. We know that capping enrollment is a short term solution and we are looking at options to address capacity over the longer term.”
Families who have already enrolled their children in JK French Immersion do not need to worry: those children are registered. Families with children born in 2013 and who are considering Catholic French Immersion in London are encouraged to submit their application packages to the schools as soon as possible. Placement is first come, first served, with consideration given to families with other children currently attending the school. The schools will maintain waiting lists for interested families, as necessary.