You are on page 1of 79

AGENDA

School Board Meeting
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:00 pm Board Chambers 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth, NS

1.

CALL TO ORDER

2.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

3.

AWARDS / PRESENTATIONS (Normally awards and presentations will be limited to 5 minutes – the Chair may extend the time limit under unique circumstances.) PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS 4.1 Rebecca Lancaster, Executive Director, Canadian Parents for French - Nova Scotia Charlene Williams, SAC chair for Bell Park Academic Centre

4.

4.2

5.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/BUSINESS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES April 27, 2011 (Regular Board)

6.

CORRESPONDENCE

7.

CHAIR’S REPORT

8.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

The HRSB would appreciate the support of the public and staff in creating a scent-reduced environment at all meetings. Please turn off your cell phone. Usage is restricted to outside the Board Chambers. Thank you.

Halifax Regional School Board 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth NS B3B 1X7 T 902 464-2000 Ext. 2321 F 902 464-2420

9.

ITEMS FOR DECISION 9.1 Report #11-04-1297 – Increase in Community Use Fees – Charles Clattenburg, Director, Operation Services

10.

COMMITTEE REPORTS (Committee reports will be limited to 5 minutes – the Chair may extend the time limit under unique circumstances.) 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Audit Committee Finance Committee Planning, Policy and Priority Committee Nova Scotia School Boards Association

Board Member Steve Brine provided notice of motion: Where as students in rural communities have long bus commutes to their schools Where as this has the potential for adverse affects on learning Where as the early years determine long term success of students Be it resolved that the NSSBA lobby the DOE to develop a rural initiative that acknowledges the unique circumstances and challenges faced by boards to keep schools open due to financial constraints and that more funding be provided to keep our elementary schools in their home communities wherever possible
 

11.

INFORMATION ITEMS 11.1 11.2 French Immersion Report – Dr. Jim Gunn Report #11-04-1298 – Diversity Management Update – Heather Chandler, Coordinator, Diversity Management Report #11-04-1300 – Occupational Health & Safety Quarterly
Halifax Regional School Board 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth NS B3B 1X7 T 902 464-2000 Ext. 2321 F 902 464-2420

11.3

The HRSB would appreciate the support of the public and staff in creating a scent-reduced environment at all meetings. Please turn off your cell phone. Usage is restricted to outside the Board Chambers. Thank you.

Update – Mike Christie, Director, Human Resource Services, and John Swales, Manager, Occupational Health and Safety 11.4 Report #11-04-1299 - High School Attendance Pilot – Danielle MacNeil-Hessian – Director, School Administration Report #11-05-1303 - Supports for African Nova Scotian Students – Heather Chandler, Coordinator, Diversity Management Report #11-05-1302 - French Special Projects – Geoff Cainen, Director, Program

11.5

11.6

12.

NOTICE OF MOTION

13.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING • Board Meeting – June 22, 2011

14.

IN-CAMERA 14.1 NSTU Ratification – Mike Christie, Director, Human Resource Services Superintendent’s Appraisal Process – Dr. Jim Gunn, Consultant

14.2

15.

ADJOURNMENT

The HRSB would appreciate the support of the public and staff in creating a scent-reduced environment at all meetings. Please turn off your cell phone. Usage is restricted to outside the Board Chambers. Thank you.

Halifax Regional School Board 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth NS B3B 1X7 T 902 464-2000 Ext. 2321 F 902 464-2420

Public x Private

Report No. 11-04-1297 Date: April 27, 2011

HALIFAX REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARD
Increase in Community Use Fees

PURPOSE:

To request the Board approve an increase in the fees charged to community users of school facilities. HRM are preparing for the distribution of program information for groups who access schools through community rentals. It is suggested that if a change was being considered, it be included as part of the information package. This communication will be sent out by HRM by the last week of May 2011. Community use of schools results in revenue of $820,000 for the Halifax Regional School Board. This revenue goes toward offsetting custodial and door monitor costs which total $500,000. Costs such as administration, extra snow/ice removal, equipment replacement, washroom products, wear and tear and energy costs are not included in these accounting figures. The existing fee structure is as follows: WEEKDAY USE (stated fees include 15% HST): Classrooms $ 20.00 for community use $ 27.00 for corporate use

BACKGROUND:

Specialty areas (cafeteria, library, etc.) $ 26.00 for community use $ 40.00 for corporate use Gymnasium $ 40.00 for community use $ 67.00 for corporate use $ 134.00 for community use $ 177.00 for corporate use

Auditoriums

Door Monitor Rate

$ 12.00

WEEKEND USE (stated fees include 15% HST): $ 54.00 any use These fees were set last year.

CONTENT:

As noted above these fees were used to offset cost for community use. This year we have noted the following increases. Door monitor costs 1% increase. Door monitors are utilized for approximately 50% of the community use.

Filename: Date last revised:

\\columbia\Departments\Board Services\Board Meetings & Minutes\2011 Meeting Folders\May 2011\Senior Staff Report - 11-04-1297 - Increase in Community Use Fees (2).doc May 13, 2011

Page

1 of 3

Custodial costs which is expected to increase by 27% for casual workers who are utilized for approximately 15% of the community use and an increase of 1% for fulltime custodial staff who are utilized for approximately 35% of the community use. Community use is also a user of energy in schools; lights and heating are not able to be set back due to this use. Electrical costs have risen 35% and heating oil 43% in the past fiscal year. Based on these cost increases it is proposed that fees be increased by 5% rounded to the nearest dollar. The rounding off is recommended as a convenience to the users who pay cash for the rental at the time of use and for administration purposes so large cash requirements are not needed to make change. The new hourly fee structure would be: WEEKDAY USE (stated fees include 15% HST): Classrooms $ 21.00 for community use $ 28.00 for corporate use

Specialty areas (cafeteria, library, etc.) $ 27.00 for community use $ 42.00 for corporate use Gymnasium $ 42.00 for community use $ 70.00 for corporate use $ 141.00 for community use $ 186.00 for corporate use

Auditoriums

WEEKEND USE (stated fees include 15% HST): $ 57.00 any use

COST:

N/A

FUNDING:

N/A

TIMELINE:

If a new fee structure is to be established, it will be included with information that is to be sent out to schools, community users and HRM community use coordinators by May, 2011. For regular users the fee change would take effect as of September 1, 2011. For larger contract users such as daycare providers, the effective date would be negotiated.

Filename: Date last revised:

\\columbia\Departments\Board Services\Board Meetings & Minutes\2011 Meeting Folders\May 2011\Senior Staff Report - 11-04-1297 - Increase in Community Use Fees (2).doc May 13, 2011

Page

2 of 3

RECOMMENDATIONS:

It is recommended that the Halifax Regional School Board approve the following new fee structure for community use of schools. WEEKDAY USE (stated fees include 15% HST): Classrooms $ 21.00 for community use $ 28.00 for corporate use

Specialty areas (cafeteria, library, etc.) $ 27.00 for community use $ 42.00 for corporate use Gymnasium $ 42.00 for community use $ 70.00 for corporate use $ 141.00 for community use $ 186.00 for corporate use

Auditoriums

WEEKEND USE (stated fees include 15% HST): $ 57.00 any use

COMMUNICATIONS:

The revised fee structure will be forwarded to schools, community users and HRM community use coordinators after Board approval.

From:

For further information please contact Charles Clattenburg, Director Operations Services, by way of email at cclattenburg@hrsb.ns.ca or at 4642000 ext. 2144. Senior Staff Board April 18, 2011 May 25, 2011

To:

Filename: Date last revised:

\\columbia\Departments\Board Services\Board Meetings & Minutes\2011 Meeting Folders\May 2011\Senior Staff Report - 11-04-1297 - Increase in Community Use Fees (2).doc May 13, 2011

Page

3 of 3

HALIFAX REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARD

THE DELIVERY OF FRENCH IMMERSION

Gunn’s Leadership Consulting Services March, 2011

Acknowledgements

Many very busy people contributed to this study. With active participation and support from the Superintendent of Schools and the Directors, numerous supervisory staff members and consultants in the regional office provided all the data and shared their professional insights, individually, and during several meetings. School principals and the immersion teachers on their staff made the time in their already full schedules to offer their expertise based on direct experience in the schools with immersion students. The Executive Director of Canadian Parents (CPF) for French for Nova Scotia and the executive members of each of the four regional CPF chapters arranged, publicized and attended local chapter meetings. The passion of teachers and administrators about the educational value of French immersion and of learning a second language must be acknowledged because it was observed to be such a powerful force behind the advancement of immersion in the schools of the Halifax Regional School Board. In the long experience of this consultant, most teachers exhibit a strong professional passion about teaching and learning. While carrying out this study, it was very obvious that the classroom teachers and principals in the schools and the staff members in the Board’s Program Department, who are responsible for the effective delivery of immersion, are highly committed to ensuring the best possible immersion program. Also, those in the School Administration Department responsible for staffing the schools are committed to ensuring that the classroom teacher positions are allocated to immersion according to the same standards or expectations as those for the English program. Many have contributed, but several individuals deserve particular acknowledgement. Sheila Christie, the Recruitment and Retention Adviser in the Human Resources Department, coordinated and prepared an analysis of staffing data. Elwin LeRoux, Coordinator, School Administration, and Francis Lefort, Facilitator, Staffing and Resources, logged many hours gathering and checking data and meeting to discuss the consultant’s interpretation of the data. Also, Mr. LeRoux, along with Denise Bell, the Senior Staff Advisor, read at least two drafts of the paper to spot errors and offer suggestions to add clarity. A very sincere “Thank you!” to all who contributed of their time and expertise!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Table of Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Preamble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Layout of the Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Purpose of the Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Immersion Enrolment Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Attrition Rate Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Early Immersion and/or Late Immersion . . . . . . . . . Intensive French (Grade 6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Major Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Streaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Level of Student Services Support . . . . . . . . . . . Availability of Qualified Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . Availability of Suitable Classroom Materials . . . . . Limited Number of Course Options in High School Equitable Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Dilemma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Financial Requirements of French Immersion . . . . Observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Specific Situations that Need Attention . . . . . . . . . . Bedford South School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bell Park Academic Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chebucto Heights Elementary School . . . . . . . . . Eastern Passage Academic Centre . . . . . . . . . . . Oyster Pond Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Model of Delivery for French Immersion . . . . . . . . Preliminary Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Some Characteristics of a Model for the HRSB . . . . Some Advantages of the Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . Suggestions for Further Consideration . . . . . . . . Single Program Immersion Schools: Something to Think About . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Final Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

a 1 2 3 3 3 4 8 8 10 12 13 13 13 14 14 15 15 16 17 17 20 20 21 21 22 23 24 25 25 25 26 26

. . . . . . . . . . . 27 . . . . . . . . . . . 28 . . . . . . . . . . . 28

©2011 Dr. James Gunn Gunn’s Leadership Consulting Services March, 2011

HALIFAX REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARD THE DELIVERY OF FRENCH IMMERSION

Preamble

Since it was created by amalgamation in 1996, the Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) has given high priority to expanding the number and variety of French Immersion programs and to ensuring that the programs are delivered as effectively as possible, taking into account the varied circumstances from one area of the region to another. Whereas French Immersion continues to have high priority, the HRSB commissioned a formal study of how French Immersion is delivered, to be completed during this school year (2010-11). French was declared one of Canada’s two official languages in the Official Languages Act of 1969. French is very important in Nova Scotia not only because it has this official Canadian language status, but more so because of the strong Acadian presence, history and culture. The importance of making French language instruction accessible to as many students as possible in Nova Scotia was assumed to be a matter of unquestionable fact from the very beginning of this study. In other words, the purpose of this study is not to question the value of French language instruction for students of the HRSB. This is not to say that its effect on English proficiency needs no comment. Families who wish to choose French immersion would like some reassurance that the development of English language skills will not be restricted. Regarding this reassurance, the Nova Scotia Department of Education’s Program Policy for French Second Language Programs (1998) includes this statement: Research has shown that learning a second language enhances students’ general cognitive and communicative skills. Other benefits cited by researchers include improved reading and research skills and increased insight not only into the target culture but also one’s own culture. The three studies cited below seemed to be the most recent reviews of the literature directly related to the question about the effect of immersion on English language skills.

Rehorick et al (2006) cite a report by Bournot-Trites & Tellowitz (2002) who conducted a research review on the effects of a second language on the first. Two of their critical findings are the following: 1. Research shows no evidence of a deficiency in development of English proficiency in early French Immersion programmes; bilingual students often outperform monolinguals, especially for English grammatical usage, punctuation and vocabulary. 2. Reduced time in English has no negative effect on English skills. Consistent with this finding, Joan Netten (2007) states the following: “It may seem contrary to common sense, but research has shown that strong French literacy skills at the beginning of the immersion experience will result in strong English and French skills later on” (page 2). And finally, in a 2006 paper prepared for Canadian Parents for French, CPF, the researcher summarizes the benefits this way: French second-language education, especially French immersion, offers several cognitive and associated academic benefits according to research findings. These benefits include: • • • • • Enhanced literacy through additive bilingualism; Strengthened English language skills; Mental flexibility, creative thinking and sensitivity; Metalinguistic awareness; and Communication, cultural, and economic opportunities.

The consistent findings from these recent and often-cited studies should be somewhat reassuring to parents who are considering the immersion option for their children.

2

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

Layout of the Report The next sections on the study’s purpose and methodology precede two relatively long sections on enrolment and attrition rate data analysis and then the layout follows closely the order of the questions set out in the purpose. Rather than preparing an executive summary, each major section which contains considerable detail ends with a series of numbered observations intended as a summary of the findings in that section. The reader can go directly to the observations to bypass the detail. The last two sections offer recommendations to address situations that need attention in particular schools and to introduce the basic structure of a delivery model for French immersion that should improve effectiveness and sustainability.
Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to recommend options that should help to ensure the effective, sustainable delivery of French Immersion to the students of the Halifax Regional School Board, options that take into account shifting enrolments and imposing limits on scarce resources. The following key questions were established to define the purpose more concretely: 1. Would moving to a single-track delivery model—either Early Immersion starting in Grade Primary or Late Immersion starting in Grade 7—address the major issues constructively or should both these programs and Intensive French (Grade 6) remain in place? 2. What are the major issues regarding an effective, sustainable delivery and how may they be addressed constructively? 3. According to the historical data and enrolment projections, which specific situations should be addressed as soon as possible and which ones should be addressed over the next few years? 4. What model of delivery for French Immersion should be more effective and sustainable?
Methodology

Very generally, the decision to carry out this study is related to the history of French Immersion within the jurisdiction of the Halifax Regional School Board and this history begins prior to the Board’s formation in 1996. The Halifax Regional School Board was created by the amalgamation of the former Dartmouth District School Board, the Halifax County-Bedford District School Board and the Halifax District School Board. Within these “district” boards, the delivery of French immersion varied in form. Only Early Immersion was offered in both the Dartmouth and Halifax boards and only Late Immersion was offered in the Halifax County board. The other major difference was that transportation was provided for Early Immersion in Dartmouth and less so in Halifax. Not unexpectedly, after the HRSB was formed, the demand to have Early Immersion added in the former Halifax County schools led to the program’s start in about a dozen elementary schools and these lead classes are being carried now through to Grade 12. Also, a demand for Late Immersion led to its start at two junior high schools in Dartmouth and these have carried through already to Grade 12. This expansion of the immersion programs since the board amalgamation in 1996 has been progressing for sufficient time to warrant an assessment of the progress and a rationalization of what delivery model has been created. The Board’s decision to take a look at what is in place now and how can it be made better and sustained for the future is timely.

Four main steps define the methodology followed to complete this study: • A limited review of the professional literature on French Immersion relevant to the specific question on Early and/or Late Immersion A review of various HRSB and Department of Education documents that explain the history of immersion in the region An analysis of immersion enrolments and attrition rates Consultations with regional supervisory staff, teachers and administrators of particular schools, the Board, and the regional chapters of Canadian Parents for French (CPF).

• •

The consultant met with various groups between September 15, 2010 and February 11, 2011: • Two meetings with a French Immersion Study Advisory Committee which included the Superintendent of Schools, three directors and other members of regional administration who have had a particular interest or involvement in immersion;

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

3

• • •

One meeting with the provincial Executive Director of Canadian Parents for French; One meeting with each of the four regional Chapters of Canadian Parents for French; Two meetings with the Director of Program and program supervisory staff who have direct responsibility for immersion; Two meetings with the coordinators and supervisors in the School Administration Department; Visits to 15 schools to meet with the principal and immersion teachers; One meeting with the principals of those junior high schools which provide both Early and Late Immersion; One meeting with a School Advisory Council at its request; Two meetings with the Board; and One meeting with the Superintendent of Schools, the Directors and other members of the senior staff team.

It would have been beneficial to include an estimate of immersion enrolment projections for next year and beyond, but data from the schools are not normally available until early spring, too late to be included in this study. Table 1 compares five years of Early and Late Immersion total enrolments to the English program enrolments. The total enrolment (English and French) decreased by 5.2% over the last five years. The English program enrolment declined by 7.8%, while the Early Immersion enrolment increased by 27% and the Late Immersion declined by 12%. From another perspective, Early Immersion as a percent of the total enrolment increased in each of the five years, from 8.4% to 11.2% and Late Immersion decreased from 7.0% to 6.5%. These data by themselves must be understood in context because they include the addition of new or “lead” classes at various grade levels in each of the five years. To understand this context, Table 1 also provides the data for Grade Primary Early Immersion (EI) and Grade 7 Late Immersion (LI), the entry points for each of these programs. The entry point data over the five years are more telling because no lead classes were started in either of these programs during this period—the lead class enrolments that were “additional” in the total enrolment columns had already been started at either of the two entry points before 2006-07. Thus, any increase in the Grade Primary EI or Grade 7 LI enrolment is the result of a greater proportion of families choosing these programs as their children enter Grade Primary or Grade 7 in the schools where the programs are already established. Table 1 demonstrates that the Grade Primary Early Immersion enrolment increased by 10.8 % over the past five years. More specifically, it peaked at 893 in 2008-09 and then declined for the last 2 years—this peak of 893 is elevated because 2008-09 was the first year that 4-year-old students could start school in September. The fact that this year’s Grade Primary EI enrolment is lower than the past two years may be the first concrete evidence that the Grade Primary immersion enrolment has already reached a maximum. According to Table 1, the Grade 7 Late Immersion enrolment declined significantly more than the English program enrolment over the past five years—by 23.6% compared to 7.8%, and the rate of decline steepened over the past three years. But one question deserves further analysis. Is the decline in the Grade 7 Late Immersion related to the expansion of the Early Immersion?

• • • • • •

The 15 meetings at individual schools primarily occurred for two reasons. In some cases, the consultant saw reasons to focus on some unique circumstances in particular schools and, in all cases, he wished to gather input from teachers and principals on the specific questions of this study or the major issues which surfaced during the study. In each school visit, the consultant met with the principal and at least two or three members of the French immersion staff. In most cases, all or a majority of the immersion staff attended these sessions. In addition to the school visits, eight principals were contacted by phone to make particular inquiries about the issues and data considered in this study.
Immersion Enrolment Analysis

The reason for the length and complexity of this analysis is primarily related to the fact that new Early Immersion classes were started in the school system over the past decade and the effect of these new or “lead classes” on the already-established Late Immersion program seemed relevant in any consideration of what to expect in the future.

4

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

Table 1: French Immersion Enrolments Compared to English Program Enrolments Year 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 Diff. % diff Total Enrolment Early Immersion 53099 52484 51947 51316 50317 -2784 -5.2% 4451 4666 5102 5509 5660 1209 27% EI % Total 8.4% 8.9% 9.8% 10.7% 11.2% Late Immersion 3724 3635 3691 3493 3267 -457 -12% LI % Total 7.0% 6.9% 7.1% 6.8% 6.5% English Total 44924 44183 43151 42314 41390 -3534 -7.8% Gr. Pr. EI 673 651 893 773 746 73 10.8% Gr. 7 LI 945 942 932 810 722 -223 -23.6%

The students who started LI in Grade 7 in the years from September, 2006, to September, 2010, entered Grade Primary between 1997 and 2001, inclusive. During this same 5-year period, 10 lead classes were started in EI at Grade Primary. Arbitrarily assuming an average of 25 students in each of these Grade Primary lead classes, the total number of students added in EI over the five years would be 250 students. The majority of these same students continued in EI at the Grade 7-12 level from 2006-07 to the present, the same period in which the LI declined by 223 students. Of course, several factors may have collectively caused this decline, but the likelihood that adding ten new classes in Grade Primary EI reduced the number starting LI seven years later is surely one of those factors. Another piece of numerical evidence adds support. From Table 1, the total Grade 7 LI enrolment of the HRSB in 2006-07 was 945. The enrolments in the previous three years were the following: • • • 899 in 2005-06 1010 in 2004-05 1008 in 2003-04.

These data show that the Grade 7 LI enrolment declined by 111 between 2004-05 and 2005-06. It is likely no coincidence that the class of the students who started LI in 2005-06 was the Grade Primary class in 1997-98, the same year that 2 EI lead classes were added. In other words, the decline in Grade 7 LI was most significant in the year when the addition of two EI lead classes could have a direct impact on Grade 7 LI enrolments. More specific data add further insights to this comparison of the Early and Late Immersion enrolment 5-year histories. The data from the following families of schools are important to this analysis because no lead classes were added in earlier years that could cause any effect on the enrolments of the last five years: the schools in the families of Dartmouth High School, Prince Andrew High School, J.L. Ilsley High School and Halifax West High School. Each of these school families are addressed separately below with particular attention to the Grade Primary to Grade 9 enrolments. The high school data are excluded from this analysis, except for Dartmouth High School, because of the normally higher attrition rates from junior high to high school, for both EI and LI, and the complex reasons behind the higher rates.

Table 2: 5-Year Grade P-9 Immersion Enrolments, Halifax West Family of Schools Year 2006-07 2010-11 5-yr. diff. % diff. Early Immersion P-9 English Program P-9 % Total Enrolment P-9 677 738 61 9.0% 2908 2982 74 2.5% 23.3% 24.7% Late Immersion (Brookside) 96 125 29 30.2% English Program (Brookside) 334 257 -77 -23.1% % Total Enrolment (Brookside) 22.3% 32.7%

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

5

Table 3: 5-Year Grade P-9 Immersion Enrolments, J.L. Ilsley Family of Schools Year 2006-07 2010-11 5-yr. diff. % diff. Early Immersion P-9 English Program P-9 % Total Enrolment 303 344 41 13.5% 2021 1830 -191 -9.5% 15% 18.8% Late Immersion (HCJH) 80 128 48 60% English Program (HCJH) 213 143 -70 -32.9% % Total Enrolment (HCJH) 27.3% 47.2%

The following schools provide Early Immersion and feed into Halifax West High School: Burton Ettinger Elementary School, Grovenor-Wentworth Park Elementary School, Rockingham Elementary School and Fairview Junior High School. Only Brookside Junior High School provides Late Immersion in the Halifax West family. The Grade P-9 enrolment data of these schools and their broader catchment areas for Early Immersion were used to generate Table 2. It is important to note that several of the catchment areas of the schools in this family for EI expand beyond the English program catchment areas and none of the broader EI catchment areas overlap with the catchment area of Brookside Junior High where LI is offered. In other words, because the parents in the catchment area of Brookside do not have access to EI, there can be no direct impact on the LI enrolment at Brookside. According to Table 2, the total Grade P-9 Early Immersion enrolment of the 4 EI schools increased by 9.0% over the past five years while the total English program enrolment for the broader EI catchment areas of these schools increased by 2.5%. Another way of measuring this change is to say that the EI enrolment as a percentage of the total enrolment increased from 23.3% to 24.7%. Also from Table 2, the Late Immersion enrolment at Brookside Junior High School increased by 30.2%, while the English program enrolment in the same school decreased by 23.1% (There are no LI students from beyond the school’s English program catchment area). The LI enrolment as a percentage of the total Grade 7-9 enrolment increased from 22.3% to 32.7%. The following schools provide the Early Immersion programs, Grade Primary to Grade 9, in the J.L. Ilsley High School family: Chebucto Heights Elementary School, John W. MacLeodFleming Tower Elementary School and Elizabeth Sutherland School. The Late Immersion Program, Grade 7-9, is provided at Herring Cove Junior High. As in the Halifax West family, the EI program catchment area does not overlap with that of LI;

the parents in the catchment area of Herring Cove Junior High do not have access to EI. Table 3 compares the total Grade P-9 EI immersion enrolments in the three schools to the total English program enrolments of the broader EI catchment areas for each of these schools. Also, it compares the Grade 7-9 LI enrolment to the English program total at Herring Cove Junior High School (HCJH). For this comparison, the catchment area of HCJH for Late Immersion is considered to be the same as that for the English program because, this year, only five to seven students of the 128 LI immersion students are from outside the English program catchment area. Table 3 demonstrates that both the EI and LI enrolments in Grade P-9 increased over the past 5 years and the English program enrolment decreased. The 5-year increase of 60% for LI at Herring Cove occurred steadily as the annual enrolments demonstrate—80, 105, 121, 122, and 128. The data in Table 4 are the Early Immersion enrolments, Grade P-9, from the Dartmouth High School (DHS) and Prince Andrew High School (PAHS) families. The data of the two families are combined because the Early Immersion students at Shannon Park Elementary School and Prince Arthur Junior High School come from the combined catchment area of these two families—approximately 40% of the EI immersion students at Shannon Park Elementary come from the PAHS feeder schools. The Late Immersion data for these same families of schools is reported in Table 5 because the analysis is a bit more complicated than in the two previous families. In Table 4, the English Program total includes enrolments from the elementary and junior high schools which do not offer immersion because the EI students are drawn from their catchment areas, a much broader area in total than in the previous two families analyzed.

6

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

Table 4: 5-Year Grade P-9, Early Immersion Enrolments for Shannon Park Elementary and Prince Arthur Junior High Year 2006-07 2010-11 5-yr. diff. % diff. Early Immersion 526 553 27 5.1% English Program 5541 4943 -598 -10.8% % Total Enrolment 9.5% 11.2%

Table 5: Comparison of Grade Primary 4-year Averages in Halifax West, J.L. Ilsley, and Shannon Park Elem. (Dartmouth and Prince Andrew High Families) Halifax West High Gr. P. Av., 2003 to 06 Gr. P. Av., 2007 to10 98 105 J.L. Ilsley High 42 54 Shannon Park Elem. 88 93

Table 6: 5-Year Grade 7-9 Immersion Enrolments for Caledonia Junior High and Ellenvale Junior High Year 2006-07 2010-11 5-yr. diff. % diff. Late Immersion 201 270 69 34.3% English Program 607 495 -112 -18.5%
The LI enrolment at Ellenvale Junior High includes about 40 to 50 students who are from outside the catchment areas of the school. Table 6 demonstrates that the LI enrolment in Grade 7-9 increased by 34.3%, over the past five years while the English program enrolment decreased by 18.5%. The Dartmouth High family data is particularly important in this analysis. The catchment areas of Caledonia Junior High and Ellenvale Junior High lie within the immersion catchment areas of Shannon Park Elementary. This means that the same families who choose Late Immersion at Grade 7 could have chosen Early Immersion when their children started school in Grade Primary. In this area, the continuing growth of LI is not affected by the continuing growth in EI.

% Total Enrolment 24.9% 35.3%

Table 4 demonstrates that the EI enrolment in Grade P-9 increased, over the past five years, in the DHS and PAHS families while the English program enrolment decreased. Table 5 provides confirmation in another way that the EI enrolment in each of the Halifax West, J.L. Ilsley, Dartmouth and Prince Andrew families is increasing. Using the eight consecutive years of data, it compares the 4-year average Grade Primary enrolment from 2003-04 to 2006-07 to the 4-year average from 2007-08 to 2010-11. In all three cases (Shannon Park Elementary takes in Dartmouth High and Prince Andrew High), the average of the most recent four years is greater than the average of the previous four years. Table 6 presents the combined Grade 7-9 Late Immersion enrolments from Caledonia Junior High School and Ellenvale Junior High School. The English Program data for Table 5 are from the same catchment areas as the LI data, but they do not depict or represent the catchment areas accurately.

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

7

The following observations are intended to summarize the findings of this whole analysis: Observation 1-1: The total HRSB enrolment (English and French) decreased by 5.2% over the last five years. In the same period, the English program enrolment declined by 7.8%, while the Early Immersion enrolment increased by 27% and the Late Immersion declined by 12%. From another perspective, Early Immersion as a percent of the total enrolment increased in each of the five years, from 8.4% to 11.2% and Late Immersion decreased from 7.0% to 6.5%. Observation 1-2: The Grade Primary EI enrolment peaked in 2008-09, the first year that 4-year old children could start school, and has been slightly lower for the past two years. Observation 1-3: The decline in the system-wide Grade 7 LI enrolment is related, at least in part, to the fact that lead classes in EI were added earlier in various schools and these lead classes are still progressing through to Grade 12. Observation 1-4: In the families of schools in which no effect from the addition of lead classes is possible, both Early Immersion and Late Immersion enrolments (Grades Primary to Grade 9) increased over the past five years, some quite significantly. In these families and over the same period, the Grade P-9 English Program enrolments decreased, except in one case where it has increased by 2.5%. Observation 1-5: Based on the evidence from several areas of the school system, once any potential effect on Late Immersion enrolments of new lead classes in Early Immersion has been removed, it is probable that the Early Immersion and Late Immersion enrolments will stabilize in relation to each other and the decline in LI enrolments will lessen or disappear.
Attrition Rate Analysis

The School Administration Department of the HRSB has kept a detailed file of French immersion enrolments and attrition rates annually since the 2003-04 school year. The fact that only eight years of data are available places a restriction on this analysis because thirteen years of data would give a more accurate calculation of attrition rates in Early Immersion from Grade Primary to Grade 12. The most common measure of attrition rate is the percentage of students who withdraw from their particular immersion program between one grade and the next. For example, if a class in Early Immersion has an enrolment of 27 in Grade 6 and then an enrolment of 22 in Grade 7, the attrition rate from Grade 6 to Grade 7 is 18.5%. The numerical analysis of attrition rates in this study searched for points in the Grade Primary to Grade 12 continuum where the attrition rates are generally higher and sought to compare how the attrition rates in Early Immersion compare to those in Late Immersion. Table 7 provides a history of the system-wide Early Immersion attrition rates by grade for the past five years. Two particular columns of data require attention because they contain an attrition rate which is obviously higher than the others in the column. The Grade 7 attrition rate in 2006-07 is 16.9%, much greater than the other four rates for that Grade. Although no explanation for this deviation could be found, the rates for the previous two years can be included in a revised calculation. If the attrition rates (10.8% and 9.9%) for Grade 7 in the two years prior to 2006-07 are included in calculating the average, it becomes 9.4% instead of 8.9%. Similarly, the attrition rate for Grade 11 in 2010-11 is an extreme deviation from the others in the same column. If it is excluded from the calculation, the 4-year average is 3.8% instead of 9.2%. Generally, the data in Table 7 show that EI attrition rates for Grade 1 and Grade 2 are higher than those for Grade 5 and 6 and they gradually improve from Grade 2 to Grade 6. Then the data show another peak from Grade 6 to Grade 7 when most of the students move to another school. The attrition rates for both Early Immersion and Late Immersion (Table 7 and Table 8) show a peak from Grade 9 to Grade 10.

As stated in the Department of Education’s Program Policy for French Second Language Programs (page 8), “The aim of French immersion programs is to enable students to become functionally bilingual”. If students do not continue their program to completion, this aim cannot be achieved. Attrition rates measure the number of students who withdraw from their particular immersion program—thus, a negative attrition rate means that students joined the program. This percentage is an important indicator of the level of success of immersion programs in achieving their purpose.

8

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

Table 7: Early Immersion Percentage Attrition Rates by Grade, 2006-07 to 2010-11 Gr. 1 06-7 07-8 08-9 9-10 10-11 Avg. 7.4 9.2 8.9 6.0 10.5 8.4 Gr. 2 11.0 8.3 8.7 8.9 9.1 9.2 Gr. 3 4.5 6.7 7.4 7.4 5.7 6.3 Gr. 4 8.2 5.5 4.8 4.3 5.9 5.7 Gr. 5 2.7 7.7 3.7 3.5 4.9 4.5 Gr. 6 4.7 5.1 1.8 3.8 2.5 3.6 Gr. 7 16.9 6.7 9.2 4.3 7.5 8.9 Gr. 8 2.3 4.3 7.5 5.2 5.8 5.0 Gr. 9 6.2 5.2 6.0 2.8 4.5 4.9 Gr. 10 10.9 13.3 8.4 8.8 7.5 9.8 Gr. 11 5.7 1.8 7.6 0.0 30.9 9.2 Gr. 12 1.8 4.9 4.3 0.8 16.8 5.7

Table 8: Late Immersion Percentage Attrition Rates Averaged by Grade, 2006-07 to 2010-11 Gr. 8 06-7 07-8 08-9 9-10 0-11 Avg. 8.8 14.9 12.0 8.8 9.9 10.9 Gr. 9 13.8 12.2 10.4 12.2 12.5 12.2 Gr. 10 41.7 32.3 34.6 46.7 41.8 39.4 Gr. 11 17.4 28.2 27.7 15.3 13.5 20.4 Gr. 12 12.9 22.2 0.9 13.7 21.1 14.2

High School. Although a specific class cannot be followed through the whole thirteen years, average enrolments can be compared. The Grade Primary EI enrolment at Shannon Park ranged from 78 in 2003-04 to 85 in 2010-11 with an 8-year average of 89. Over the same period, the Grade 12 EI enrolment at DHS ranged from 41 to 37 with an average of 41. In other words, the 8-year average enrolment dropped from 89 in Grade Primary to 41 in Grade 12. Using these averages, the EI attrition rate from Grade Primary to Grade 12 is 53.9%. A different method—also an estimate—can be used to provide another example. The EI data used in this method are those of the Citadel High School family of schools. Within this family, the enrolments for two particular classes could be tracked to calculate the average attrition rate of these two classes from Grade Primary to Grade 6. This P-6 EI average attrition rate is 28.6%. Then, following a similar method, the average attrition rate for two particular classes of EI, Grade 7 to Grade 12 was calculated to be 23.6%. As a rough estimate, these two rates can be added together to give a Grade P-12 EI attrition rate of 52.2% in the Citadel High family of schools. Thus, the rates for the Dartmouth High family and the Citadel High family are very similar, although estimated using different methods. The Grade 7-12 Late Immersion rates could be determined more accurately because three individual classes could be tracked from Grade 7 to Grade 12. To provide two examples, the LI data from the Auburn Drive High family and the Dartmouth High family were used and the results are summarized in Table 9 and Table 10. From Table 9, the Grade 7-10 LI attrition rate within the Auburn Drive family, as a 3-year average, is 44.1% and, as expected, the Grade 7-12 rate is 56.8%. From Table 10, the corresponding rates for the Dartmouth High family are 64% and 68%.

A quick glance at Table 7 and Table 8 might lead one to assume that the attrition rates for Late Immersion are higher than those for Early Immersion, but these data by themselves may be too superficial. A more accurate comparison of EI and LI attrition rates calls for a deeper analysis. An accurate comparison of attrition rates is best measured by determining how many students started Early Immersion in Grade Primary and then, thirteen years later, how many remained in Grade 12. Similarly, to compare rates for Late Immersion, how many started Grade 7 and then, six years later, how many remained in Grade 12 should be determined. Because having only eight years of immersion enrolment data does not allow a comparison from Grade Primary to Grade 12 for the same group or class, other ways must be used to determine EI attrition rates over the thirteen years. Six years of Late Immersion data is available. The first way to measure the Grade P-12 attrition rate for Early Immersion can be only an estimate because of the limited chronological data. Students who start EI in Grade Primary at Shannon Park Elementary finish EI in Grade 12 at Dartmouth

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

9

Table 9: Grade 7-10 and Grade 7-12 Attrition Rates, Auburn Drive High Family Grade 7 Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Av. Attr. Rate 130 131 131 Grade 10 83 58 78 Gr. 7-10 Attr. 36.2% 55.7% 40.5% 44.1% Grade 12 67 49 64 Gr 7-12 Attr. 48.5% 62.6% 59.3% 56.8%

Table 10: Grade 7-10 and Grade 7-12 Attrition Rates, Dartmouth High Family Grade 7 Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Av. Attr. Rate
In summary and based on only two sets of average attrition rates, approximately 52 to 54% of students in Early Immersion do not remain until Grade 12. In comparison, 57% of the LI students in one high school family did not remain until Grade 12 and, in the other, 68% did not remain. In conjunction with the numerical attrition rate analysis, deliberate attention was given to the attrition rate issues during most of the interviews with school and regional staff. The collective opinion drawn from the interviews was very helpful in interpreting the numerical data. The observations below are intended to integrate the findings of the numerical analysis above with the professional, collective opinion that took shape during the consultations. This review of attrition rates focused on trying to answer the following questions: • • • Are there points in the Grade Primary to Grade 12 continuum where the attrition rates are generally higher? If attrition rates are higher between some grade levels than others, why is this so? How do the attrition rates in Early Immersion compare to those in Late Immersion?

Grade 10 40 18 21

Gr. 7-10 Attr. 53.5% 73.5% 65.0% 64%

Grade 12 38 17 16

Gr 7-12 Attr. 55.8% 75.0% 73.3% 68%

86 68 60

Observation 2-1: In answer to the first question, points are evident in the Grade Primary to Grade 12 continuum at which attrition rates are generally higher. The following points of higher attrition rates are evident in the numerical data and they confirm or are confirmed by the explanations gathered during the consultations with regional and school administrators and immersion teachers: • The EI rates are higher for Grade 1 and Grade 2 than those for Grade 5 and 6 and they gradually improve from Grade 2 to Grade 6. The EI attrition rate takes another jump from Grade 6 to Grade 7 and then another from Grade 9 to Grade 10. In Late Immersion, the highest attrition rate occurs from Grade 9 to Grade 10.

• •

Observations 8 to 11 provide explanations for these points of higher attrition rates. Observation 2-2: The reasons for the various peaks in Early Immersion attrition rates become more complex or they are cumulative from Grade Primary to Grade 12. Parents and teachers of students in early elementary learn in the first two or three years that some students have particular learning needs or challenges and, consequently, perhaps should not remain in immersion. Students enter Grade Primary immersion with no assessment of their abilities or competencies to learn in English or French. Within the first few years, sufficient assessment occurs to identify special needs or barriers to learning. In fact, Grade Primary teachers quickly

These questions are answered below, in sequence, with the corresponding observations.

10

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

develop a fairly good understanding of the individual needs of their students and this understanding is confirmed through Grade 1 and Grade 2. For a variety of reasons, parents decide, in consultation with teachers and the principal, that remaining in immersion may not be the best option for their child. Thus, the attrition rates are generally higher at the end of Grade 1 and Grade 2. Observation 2-3: The reasons behind the jump in EI attrition from Grade 6 to Grade 7 are varied and more complex. Some parents of students who have identifiable and unique learning needs decide to withdraw their child from immersion to remove what they perceive as an added pressure or learning challenge as they enter junior high, but other reasons are apparent. By the end of Grade 6, students have more say in whether or not they will continue immersion and “social” issues are more of a critical factor. The reasons for not taking immersion in junior high school may have little or nothing to do with wanting to learn French. Student motives or interests influence the decision and parents may have changed their opinion about the value of French Immersion since their child enrolled in Grade Primary. One of the bigger issues for Grade 6 immersion students, and their parents, is whether or not they will have to attend a different junior high school than their friends from their neighborhood. Because of where immersion programs are offered, some students have to choose between proceeding to Grade 7 with their immersion classmates in a particular junior high school and attending the junior high school that serves their local community. Ultimately, parents make the choice about what junior high school their child will attend in Grade 7, if they have a choice to make. Based on needs and desires of their child and their perceptions about the various junior high schools available, they may choose the school that does not offer Early Immersion. A particular concern of parents and teachers was expressed quite often which may be viewed as a variable to contributes to higher attrition rates in Early Immersion. When the EI enrolment is not sufficient to have more than one class in Grade Primary, students can spend the first seven years of their public school together as a class and even through junior high school—less often into high school because EI and LI are combined. Yes, this has always been the case in the English program in small schools, but it is not desirable. If problems of a social nature or unhealthy relationships arise in the early elementary years, they may cause families to withdraw their child from EI, whether before Grade 6 or as they enter junior high school.

Observation 2-4: The opinions gathered in staff interviews also support or explain the fact that attrition rates in Early Immersion are generally higher from Grade 9 to Grade 10. The reasons for not remaining in immersion become more complex at this stage. Unique learning needs and having to choose between one school and another continue to be critical factors, but other high school factors come into play. Mainly these high school factors are related to the students’ course preferences. Students are often forced to choose between immersion and other courses or programs. Although the options offered to students vary from school to school, generally, students may have to withdraw from immersion to take other options according to their preferences. (This last factor is addressed in more detail in the section on “major issues”.) Observation 2-5: As with Early Immersion, the attrition rate for Late Immersion is higher from Grade 9 to Grade 10. Understandably, the reasons for this peak between Grade 7 and 12 are the same as those put forward to explain why EI students do not continue in Grade 10. Having to choose one high school or another, the immersion course options available, and course selection preferences are three important factors. Observation 2-6: Two “exit interviews” or surveys of families whose children have not remained in immersion were carried out since 2008-09. Families were invited to complete a questionnaire designed to gather information about the reasons students do not complete the immersion program. The response rates for these two surveys were quite low, so definite or statistically significant conclusions should not be drawn. Nevertheless, one can say that the strongest factors identified from surveys contributing to the attrition rates are consistent with the opinions gathered during this study. Students left immersion because they were frustrated by their level of achievement, an insufficient number of course offerings in high schools and no resource teacher support in Early Immersion. Observation 2-7: The third question about comparing attrition rates in EI and LI could not be answered accurately because EI rates could only be estimated. A rough estimate is that approximately 52 to 54% of students in Early Immersion did not remain until Grade 12. In comparison and using a sampling of two high school families, 62.5% of the students in Late Immersion (the average of 57% and 68%) did not remain until Grade 12.

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

11

Early Immersion and/or Late Immersion

The first question is to be given particular attention in this study is the following: Would moving to a single-track delivery model—either Early Immersion starting in Grade Primary or Late Immersion starting in Grade 7—address the major issues constructively or should both these programs and Intensive French (Grade 6) remain in place? Some conclusions from the educational research on immersion are relevant in addressing this question. Joan Netten’s (2007) recent study was referenced in a previous section. Her work is specific to the question at hand, as evident in the title of her study, “Optimal Entry Point for French Immersion”. She takes the following position on the question: From my considerable experience with immersion programs, I would suggest that early French immersion appears to me to be the most practical entry point for the widest variety of learners to experience academic success, and develop both oral and written competence in French. Primarily, this decision is based on the congruence between the learning outcomes of immersion and the primary curriculum. The premise of immersion programs is that the child will develop competence in the second language while achieving the learning outcomes of the grade. This premise works at the primary level where the emphasis is on developing literacy skills, not on academic content learning (page 7). Then Netten makes the following comparison between Early Immersion and the other two entry points: Early French immersion is also the program which is open to the widest variety of students. Because of the congruence of the curriculum and learning outcomes, that is the development of literacy skills, children of a wide variety of academic abilities can profit from the program. Both middle and late immersion require much more ability on the part of the students to learn both language and content at the same time. (page 7). But she qualifies her conclusion with this final comment: When discussing an optimal entry point for French immersion, it needs to be said that this decision includes parents, too. Parents must be happy with the entry point which they have chosen... To conclude, it is not really possible to determine an optimal entry point for French immersion programs which will apply to all children and their parents. The optimal entry point is really when both parent and child are ready to try the immersion experience. (page 8).

In other words, Netten chooses Grade Primary as the entry point if characteristics of the learners and the nature of the program are the only factors to consider. From a broader perspective, she chooses later entry points because they may be better and timely for some students and their families. Another fairly recent review of the research comes at the question of preferred entry points from a somewhat different perspective related to how much time students spend in a second language program. In her paper entitled, “The Relationship of Starting Time and Cumulative Time to Second Language Acquisition and Proficiency”, Elizabeth Murphy (2001) drew the following conclusion at the end of her very thorough analysis: We are forced to conclude, therefore, that based on the review of the studies cited in this paper, we cannot clearly or definitively conclude that there is a linear relationship between the amount of cumulative time and level of proficiency or whether the amount of cumulative time can predict the level of proficiency. Murphy’s overall conclusion is noteworthy, in its entirety, as being relevant to the question at hand: The relationship of time to achievement is an essential issue which needs to be clearly understood in order to establish a foundation on which to base policy, programs and curriculum. Research has provided many answers to questions on this topic and has shown that starting age is not in itself an accurate predictor of level of achievement. It now seems that the optimum or critical age hypothesis favouring young children is not valid and that older children require less cumulative learning time because they are more efficient learners. Cumulative time does not appear to be an accurate predictor of achievement. These findings from the research do not contradict opinions and beliefs gathered during the consultation sessions with professional staff. The question about the entry point for immersion was discussed in every session. It was given more deliberate attention in those meetings with principals and teachers of schools where both programs are offered in the school or even in the same classroom, in other words, in junior and senior high schools. It seems relevant to point out that most of the immersion staff who participated in the sessions came through either Early Immersion or Late Immersion in public school and many of them quite recently—the immersion teachers in most school systems are younger, on average, because immersion programs have been expanding. In most of the consultations with school staffs, there was a mix of language development experience, including Francophone, Core French, EI and LI.

12

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

Given the varied backgrounds of the immersion staff, their opinions or beliefs were mixed and generally covered the range of possibilities, as one would expect. But overall, only a few individuals spoke passionately or strongly that one of the two programs was clearly superior to the other or that only one entry point was obviously the best way to go. The conversations were much more about the relative advantages and disadvantages of one program compared to the other and the impact of having only one immersion program in the system. The three conclusions below answer the question about offering only Early Immersion or Late Immersion, or continuing to offer both. They are based on the review of the literature and, especially, on the consultations with teachers, administrators and parents (CPF Chapters) during this study. Conclusion 3-1: In terms of educational benefit to students, there is no reason to conclude that either Early Immersion or Late Immersion is clearly superior to the other to the point that one should replace the other. Conclusion 3-2: One of the expectations of effective program delivery is equitable access. Offering two entry points (Grade Primary and Grade 7), in areas where programs can be sustained, provides greater access for students. Conclusion 3-3: Moving to a single-track delivery model across the entire school system, to offer only Early Immersion or Late Immersion, would not address the major issues so constructively as to justify such an extreme measure. Conclusion 3-4: There are areas of the school system where it is unreasonable to expect that both programs can be sustained efficiently if the enrolments continue to decline. The reasons behind the third and fourth conclusions are embedded, directly and indirectly, in the subsequent sections of this paper, as the major issues are explained, possible solutions are offered for consideration, and a preferred delivery model is described. Intensive French (Grade 6) The question addressed in this section included a reference to the possible future of Intensive French which is offered in two of the most rural schools in the HRSB system. Intensive French in Grade 6 and Extended Core in Grade 7 to 12 were initiated in the rural schools which do not have sufficient adult populations and student enrolments to sustain immersion. These programs should be continued because they add to or enhance the Core French program for those students who wish to study French in greater depth.

The Major Issues

The second question set out in the study’s purpose asks for the major issues in regard to an effective, sustainable delivery of immersion and how they may they be addressed constructively. The issues addressed in this section are those under which most other more specific problems may be categorized and discussed. The financial requirements of French immersion are discussed in a subsequent section because they are of such importance in trying to solve most of the issues raised throughout the report. “Streaming” This has always been an issue in public education, particularly in high schools, when families and students have to choose from a variety of program or course options. The common understanding of the term, among educators, is that students are streamed into classes or groups by their program choices according to such criteria as level of achievement, motivation, ability, and family support in the home. For example, high school students who focus on science, including physics and advanced math, are somewhat streamed, as are those who wish to focus on music, band and fine arts. Streaming has been a matter of concern in French immersion from the very beginning. Families have viewed immersion as a means to ensure greater short-term and long-term advantages for their children, to have their child in classes of what they perceive to be higher achieving students, or even to have their child in a school that they perceive to be more successful than their own community school. Generally and historically, parents and teachers of students in the English program have viewed immersion as a program that draws the higher achieving students away from the English program classes. Little can be said here to propose a solution to the problem of streaming. As long as families and students have choices of program or course options, streaming will be a reality—at least this has been the case in high schools for many decades. It is mentioned in this report more to acknowledge its existence, but also to say that it may not be the serious concern that it was in the early years of immersion. This consultant, who has been dealing with the issues of immersion for over 20 years, was a bit surprised that streaming was mentioned rather infrequently in the consultation sessions and that a few of the comments were positive in the sense that it has become less of a problem. Admittedly, most of these positive comments came more from principals and teachers of the Early Immersion schools and less from those of the

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

13

Late Immersion schools. It should also be said that the concern about streaming might have been expressed more frequently if teachers of the English program were consulted directly. Although concrete, measurable data is unavailable to support what is being said here about streaming, this consultant gained the sense that immersion classes, especially EI, are more representative of students who display a normal range of abilities and achievement levels than they were in the early years of immersion. This may be due to the facts that French immersion has been in place for quite some time, more is generally known or understood about it, and, consequently, more families are choosing it for their children. It may be due also to the fact that students no longer have to be assessed and accepted into immersion programs. Perhaps the most telling evidence that the degree of streaming is less lies in the fact that the number of immersion students in need of additional support as learners is increasing. This suggests that immersion classes may not be that much different in their makeup than English classes. This issue is addressed in the next section. Level of Student Services Support Students with various learning difficulties, including behavioral problems, should have support to help them achieve as learners. In the mandatory English program, this student services support comes primarily from resource teachers, Reading Recovery teachers, speech language pathologists, autism specialists, and educational program assistants. Except in a very few instances, students in the optional French immersion program do not have support from persons in these same roles who speak French. Even if the financial resources were not so severely limited, there are very few immersion teachers who have the experience and training to serve as resource or Reading Recovery teachers and there are very few of the other specialists who are bilingual. The following message was clear and consistent throughout the consultation sessions: One of the best single ways to add educational value for students, especially for the younger children in Early Immersion, but also for those in EI and LI in junior high, is to provide the same level and type of students services support as those provided for students in the English program. Those responsible for French immersion in the Program Department are fully aware of the need for student services for immersion students. A plan of action has been implemented already to have experienced immersion teachers become qualified as resource teachers. One cohort of teachers (8) has completed the training program, a second cohort is participating in the program, and another is prepared to start.

However, only a few of the eight teachers in the first cohort have gained an immersion resource position because the hiring procedure in the collective agreement does not allow complete flexibility in the placement of teachers. Availability of Qualified Teachers The annual search for suitably qualified teachers to cover the expanding immersion programs has been a major challenge for school boards in Nova Scotia since immersion was introduced about 30 years ago. Although the teacher shortage continues to be a challenge for the Halifax Regional School Board, there are definite signs that the steps taken by the Board’s Human Resources and Program Departments are paying off. These departments have collaborated closely to recruit and retain qualified teachers, provide professional development for teachers already on staff who wish to become qualified to teach immersion, and define higher standards for hiring new teachers and filling positions from within. The most telling numerical evidence that the situation is improving lies in the number of 3-year, conditional, probationary or permanent contracts offered over each of the past five years to attract and retain new teachers. In early spring, school boards must compete to hire immersion teachers as they complete their university preparation for teacher certification. Because this is prior to the normal hiring season, the Human Resources Department cannot access sufficient information to be certain about what immersion positions will be open at the end of the hiring process, so assumptions must be made to estimate the number of immersion teachers required. During a teacher shortage when boards are competing, the risk of assuming that probationary/permanent contract positions will be open for new immersion teachers toward the end of the process is too high. The HRSB removes this risk by offering 3-year, conditional, probationary or permanent contracts to teachers, early in the process, who have become qualified to teach immersion, on the condition that they teach immersion for at least three years. Over each of the past five years, the HRSB hired the following numbers of immersion teachers on a 3-year, conditional contract: 31, 71, 22, 7 and 11. These numbers show that the Human Resources Department has grown more confident that it is able to fill immersion positions during the normal hiring process without having to offer as many conditional contracts before the process begins. The numbers do not show another important fact. In the early years of immersion hiring, a teacher shortage caused problems in all immersion program areas—language arts,

14

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

social studies, science and mathematics, in both Early and Late Immersion. More recently, the shortage existed only in science and mathematics. Most recently, the seven, 3-year conditional contract positions filled in 2009-10 and the eleven positions in 2010-11 were mathematics positions. All other immersion positions were filled during the normal hiring process. The fact that the teacher shortage is limited to mathematics now, especially in the secondary grades, was confirmed by principals during the consultations. Only a few principals raised concerns about being able to hire teachers who meet the new qualifications standard for mathematics. Most of the input from principals indicated that the teacher shortage is no longer the serious problem that it was just a few years ago. In the interest of fairness and accuracy, another comment about the input on the teacher shortage seems important. As indicated, a shortage of science teachers existed until 2009-10. One of the concerns in at least a couple of high schools is that physics and chemistry are not offered as immersion courses—this program decision has been in effect for almost ten years. Some argue that the decision was made because the enrolments in these courses were too low; others argue that the enrolments would be greater if additional qualified immersion, science teachers could be hired. There is at least one reason to anticipate that teacher shortage in French immersion will continue to be less of a problem. As indicated earlier in this paper, the startup of lead classes each year will come to an end in 2014-15. If the enrolment growth slows down or levels out as more teachers become qualified, then the supply of teachers should be able to match the demand more closely each year. There is other good news related to teacher hiring. The Program Department staff members responsible for immersion have persevered in clarifying and raising the language competency standards for teachers and then assessing all applicants to determine if they meet the minimum standards. A higher level of competency and greater stability will result as those who aspire to teach immersion become more aware of and meet the standards, and as more qualified teachers become permanent members of the HRSB teaching staff. Availability of Suitable Classroom Materials When immersion classes were introduced in Nova Scotia, classroom materials or supplies for students and teachers were simply not available in sufficient quantity and quality. Suitable materials for Core French in the English Program were readily available because the program had been in place for

decades, but these were not suitable for immersion. The supply of materials could neither match nor keep up with the demand because immersion was expanding so quickly across the province and the country and because it takes several years to get new curriculum materials to market. The most obvious consequence of this shortage of classroom materials was that immersion teachers had to find and even purchase their own resources and they had to spend far too much time translating English materials into French or developing resources. Fortunately, time has taken care of this problem and will continue to do so. During all the consultation sessions with regional and school staffs, the message was consistent: The problem of not having suitable immersion materials and supplies for students and teachers is no longer an impediment and the situation is improving every year. Limited Number of Course Options in High School This matter is singled out in this section as a major issue, but two other issues specific to high schools—immersion attrition rates and financial cost—are raised in the corresponding sections under those headings. The Nova Scotia Department of Education requires that nine courses (half of the total high school credits required for graduation) be taught in French for students who wish to receive a French Immersion Certificate upon graduation. All twelve HRSB high schools offering immersion provide at least the minimum nine credits and seven offer 10 to 13 credits. In those schools offering only the minimum, the concern is that students have no choice in the courses they can take to receive the French Immersion Certificate. Being able to offer students a wide range of course options has always been a complex issue in the high school English program, long before immersion was introduced as yet another heavy demand on the student and teacher schedule. The limitations to being able to offer more than 9 immersion credits, in most ways, are the same as those in being able to offer choices in the language arts, Core French, mathematics, sciences, music, art, social studies, studies of minority cultures, alternative programs such as Options and Opportunities or Cooperative Education, Advanced Placement, and the International Baccalaureate program. The complexity is increased by the variety and range of program or course options, especially when many of them can only be offered as single sections because of low student subscription.

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

15

This complexity can cause more serious problems in scheduling high schools with smaller enrolments. Although the limited number of course options surfaced in this study is an issue in high schools, viable solutions did not. It seems important to acknowledge and explain the concern at least. As long as high schools continue to offer so many choices to students, including immersion, the difficulties of trying to add even more options will remain. The fact that twelve of the fifteen high schools in the HRSB are able to offer nine or more additional credits (likely most are single-section courses) should be viewed very positively as a benefit to students. One barrier is unique to being able to increase the number of immersion credits, or at least it has been perceived as a barrier. The shortage of teachers qualified to teach immersion in high school, particularly for science and mathematics, has been a serious problem, but some school and regional administrators have questioned whether or not the limited number of credits is solely a consequence of this shortage. If the number of immersion course options was greater, not only would the scheduling complications be increased, but also the same number of immersion students would be spread among more courses creating the situation where some enrolments would not be sufficient to justify offering the course. Equitable Access Equitable access is a serious issue in the delivery of immersion and other optional programs in Nova Scotia’s schools because the financial resources are insufficient to support additional student transportation where its provision could overcome the barriers of distance. The location of French immersion programs, as with optional programs such as the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and Options and Opportunities (O2) programs, has to be such that a sufficient enrolment can be sustained to operate the program effectively with the very limited financial resources. The barriers of small community populations and long travel distances are greatest in the more rural areas of any school system, often to the point that only a small number of optional programs can be offered; in most cases, the provision of options requires additional resources. This is the case for the HRSB in its rural areas along the eastern shore and through the Musquodoboit Valley. In the opinion of this consultant, which is based on experience in four other school systems in Nova Scotia, the HRSB has done as well as any and better than some in improving the access to immersion in the more densely populated areas of the

school system, especially since the board was formed through amalgamation in 1996. Nevertheless, one issue of equitable access provides an opportunity to make more improvements. The problem is related to how access is defined. This can be and is said about equitable access to immersion under the jurisdiction of the HRSB: Families have access to immersion, except in the rural areas with less concentrated populations. In other words, families in the more heavily populated areas, including and surrounding Halifax, Dartmouth and Bedford, have access to immersion. What this means, really, is that families in some areas have access to either Early Immersion or Late Immersion but not both, while in other areas, families have access to both programs. Concern was expressed particularly with respect to two areas during the consultations with Canadian Parents for French. Families do not have access to both EI and LI in the Citadel High School family of schools and in the Dartmouth High School family of schools. (There may be other school families or communities where this might be raised as an issue, but they were not brought to the attention of the consultant during this study.) The concern expressed is that only Early Immersion is offered within the Citadel High School family of schools although these schools serve one of the most densely populated areas of the school system. Three elementary schools and two junior high schools offer EI and feed into Citadel High. The perceived inequity in this area can be expressed in this question: If both immersion programs are offered in other areas in the school system, why is Late Immersion not offered here? The question of equitable access is less pronounced in the situation of the Dartmouth High family. Shannon Park Elementary School and Prince Arthur Junior High School provide Early Immersion, with busing guaranteed, and feed into Dartmouth High—these schools also provide EI, with busing, for the families in the catchment area of Prince Andrew High School. This is not the case for all students in Late Immersion. It is offered only at two junior high schools which lie within the catchment area of Prince Andrew High—Caledonia Junior High and Ellenvale Junior High. Transportation is not provided for the out-of-area transfer students who are accepted to immersion in either of these schools. The specific question expressed by representatives of a small group of families, during this study, was about having Late Immersion offered at Bicentennial School which is a feeder school into Dartmouth High.

16

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

The fact that this question about access to both EI and LI has been raised here should not be interpreted to mean that a major concern has been expressed and must be given immediate attention. The concern was expressed but a strong demand for Late Immersion from a sufficiently large number of families to justify and sustain an additional program was not evident. It has been simply noted here as a matter of record to be kept in mind over the next few years. A Dilemma Dilemmas are problems which have several solutions, none of which are really satisfactory, and one has to be selected. A particular dilemma, raised once during this study, is very familiar to the HRSB administrators and board members and is a frustration in other school boards also. Families under the jurisdiction of the HRSB have access to Early or Late Immersion, but not necessarily in the school of their preference. In a few situations each year, the number of families applying for immersion in a particular school is greater than the number of seats available, so there has to be a selection process to determine who gets the seats and who has to go to another school. Of course everyone wants a fair process. Until last spring, a precise time was set for families to submit their application and selection was made on a “first come-first serve” basis. The stories abound about moms and dads lining up in the pre-dawn hours, in the worst March weather, to be first in line when the doors of the school open. Last spring, applications could be submitted by e-mail and those were accepted in order of time received after a precise, preset time. Some parents who expressed a lack of confidence in this electronic method indicated that they would still wait in a pre-dawn lineup to ensure that their application is acknowledged as early as possible. Fortunately, all applications were accepted last spring because the number matched the seats available. Hopefully, this will be the case this spring. The purpose of raising the issue here is simply to acknowledge that it was raised passionately during one of the meetings and to advise that this consultant has no better solution to offer. From personal experience, the consultant learned that another method, which was agreed to by parents before it was applied, became unacceptable to those who were unsuccessful. The method was to draw names from a hat. The challenge is to find a method that accepts some applications and rejects others while trying to make all participants happy.

The Financial Requirements of French Immersion

As an optional program, French immersion is distinct from Core French, a mandatory program in elementary and junior high school—Early Immersion replaces Core French and Late Immersion replaces it after Grade 6. If immersion was not offered as an option by the HRSB, the immersion students would be enrolled in the English program, including Core French, in their own community school. The primary financial question considered in this study asks if immersion adds any net cost, taking into account that the federal and provincial governments provide additional revenue to promote and support French immersion programs. The additional revenue to support immersion comes to school boards in Nova Scotia in the form of “French Special Projects” grants and “Minority Language Funding” approved annually by the Department of Education. Table 11 provides both these amounts for each of the past five years and Table 12 provides the breakdown of federal, provincial and school board contributions to cover the French Special Project grant, using this school-year’s total as an example. As evident in Table 11, the total amounts approved for French Special Projects declined for 2007-08 and then remained constant for the past four years. The Minority Language Funding increased by $20,666. The ML Funding covers the cost of classroom materials for the lead classes which start up each year and the Grade 7 Immersion Summer Camp at the Universite` Ste-Anne. The total FSP grant approved is not the amount of revenue received annually by the HRSB because the board has to cover 30% of the total approved. Table 12 gives the actual revenue received by the HRSB for this school-year, which would be the same for the previous three years. The board received a total of $431,480 from the federal and provincial governments and had to cover $184,920 of the total $616,400 from within its own general operating revenue. The major portion of the French Special Project Grants has been approved historically for immersion teacher positions to support new or “lead” immersion classes in schools. Five years ago, twelve lead classes and three regional immersion support staff positions were funded along with some professional development support for immersion and Core French. Because the number of lead classes has decreased since then, ten classes and four regional positions are being funded for this schoolyear, along with more support for the professional development of a growing number of immersion teachers.

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

17

Table 11: French Special Projects (FSP) Grants and Minority Language Funding (ML) 2006-07 FSP Approved ML Funding $644,780 $259,054 2007-08 $616,400 $259,054 2008-09 $616,400 $273,244 2009-10 $616,400 $288,757 2010-11 $616,400 $279,720

Table 12: Federal, Provincial and HRSB Contributions to French Special Projects Grants, 2010-11 2010-11 Contribution Total FSP Approved $616,400 Federal Contribution 50% Provincial Contribution 20% $308,200 $123,280 HRSB Contribution 30% $184,920

The additional expenditures required to deliver immersion may be categorized under classroom materials, professional development, student services support, transportation and staffing. As just explained above, 70% of the professional development costs are covered from the French Special Projects grant, annually. Each of the other categories of expenditures is addressed below. Classroom materials are purchased by the Department of Education through the “textbook” allocation, in the same way that English program resources are purchased. This allocation for textbooks and other classroom materials or supplies is covered from within the budget of the Department of Education so, in one sense, it is not a direct expenditure for the HRSB—and the Minority Language Funding helps to cover the cost of materials for both immersion and Core French. Nevertheless, there is an added cost against the textbook allocation, in another sense, because not all materials which must be purchased are for lead classes and immersion materials generally cost about 10% more than the comparable items for the English program. The additional costs may not be comparatively significant now, but what will happen when lead classes no longer exist and materials need to be replaced? Relative to other immersion costs and to the system-wide cost of busing, transportation for immersion students does not add a major expenditure. Except in the catchment areas of Dartmouth High School and Prince Andrew High School and to a lesser degree on the Halifax peninsula, parents are responsible to get their children to the immersion program if it is not offered in their own community school. In the Dartmouth situation, all Early Immersion students are bused to Shannon Park Elementary School, Prince Arthur Junior High School and Dartmouth High School—a decision that was made many years ago, prior to the board amalgamation.

According to Stock Transportation, the high concentration of buses and bus runs required to transport students in the English program in the Dartmouth area is such that transporting the EI students requires very little additional resources. Quite a number of additional bus runs are necessary, but only one, or perhaps two, additional buses had to be added. The average cost to the HRSB of adding a bus and driver to the fleet is about $50,000. Adding bus runs to buses that are already operating costs the price of extra fuel and extra hours for the driver if the runs cannot be completed within the allotted schedule. The additional expenditures generated by immersion, described to this point, are small compared to the overall operational expenditure for the HRSB. The additional expenditure for additional classroom immersion teachers in the 59 schools is not. This observation calls for an explanation because one would think that the number of teaching positions should be the same whether the students are in immersion or the English program. The possibility that additional teachers are required in some immersion schools while not in others is strictly related to having to offer two or three programs instead of one to the same group of students and to the specific grade level enrolments in each school year. This is best explained with a couple of examples. Assume that an elementary school, this year, has 17 students in Grade 2 Early Immersion and 31 students in Grade 2 English and these students cannot be accommodated in other combined grade classrooms with Grade 1 or Grade 3. The maximum class size for Grade 2 in Nova Scotia is 25. Thus, three classroom teachers are required to staff Grade 2—an EI class with 17 and 2 English classes with 15 and 16. If no immersion program was offered, these same 48 students could be accommodated in two classrooms of 24 each.

18

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

As the second example, assume that a junior high school has 41 students in Grade 8 Late Immersion and 53 students in the Grade 8 English program. Although no maximum class size is mandated, the general rule of thumb is that classes over 35 should be avoided in junior high. Thus, four classroom teachers are required to staff Grade 8—two immersion classes of 20 and 21 and two English classes of 26 and 27. If no immersion program was offered, these same 94 students could be accommodated in three classes with 31, 31 and 32 students. In each of the examples—which are very common situations, one additional classroom teacher is required to offer immersion. Obviously, the total number could be very significant in any particular year. The examples apply only to a single grade. In the HRSB system, 25 schools have immersion in Grade P-6 and 31 schools have immersion in Grade 7-9. This means that, each year, there is a total of 268 possibilities (175+93) in which one or more additional teachers might be necessary to offer immersion, depending on the enrolment in each grade. Even if only half of these grades required one additional classroom teacher, 134 positions still creates a very large additional expenditure. Another factor adds teaching positions in elementary and junior high schools. For every elementary classroom position, an allocation of 0.2 full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions is necessary for the specialist programs—for example, Physical Education and Music, and the corresponding figure is 0.3 FTE positions for each junior high classroom position. The general rule of thumb is that 1.2 FTE positions are required for every elementary classroom and 1.3 for every junior high classroom. It can be seen from these examples that the number of additional classroom teachers required each year can vary greatly from year to year as the enrolments fluctuate even by a few. In the case of the junior high example, in another year,

the same junior high school could have 32 students in immersion and 61 in English so that only three teachers would be required. It should be noted that the method for staffing high schools is different because high schools are on the credit system and students receive individualized course schedules—they are not scheduled by classes. Offering immersion may require additional teaching positions if the enrolments are very low and the commitment to offer immersion courses has been made, but the method explained above does not apply in staffing high schools. To estimate the number of additional classroom teacher positions necessary for immersion, the supervisory staff in the School Administration Department looked at the number of classes in each immersion school for the present school year and then determined how many teachers would be necessary if no immersion was offered in the school. For a few of these schools, the total enrolment for only the English program would not be valid because of out-of-area transfers into immersion—in reality, these students would have to return to their own community school. Because the enrolments and, therefore, every school staff allocation could not be determined precisely, a very conservative approach was taken in determining the total estimate. The estimated total number of additional classroom teacher positions to offer Early Immersion and Late Immersion in Grade Primary to Grade 9, for the present school year, is 107 classroom positions and 29 specialist positions. Consequently, the additional cost of 136 teaching positions to support immersion is $7,115,000, using an average salary of $55,000, including benefits. Table 13 provides data to fill in some detail about this estimate of 107 classroom teacher positions.

Table 13: Distribution of Additional Immersion Classroom Teachers, Gr. P-9, 2010-11 Immersion Program Gr. P-6 EI Gr. 7-9 EI Gr. 7-9 LI Both EI and LI Totals No. of Schools 19 5 14 9 47 No. of Schools Where Positions Added 15 5 14 9 43 Total Positions Added 30 10 33 34 107* Average No. of Positions/School 2.0 2.0 2.5 3.8

* A total of 29 additional specialist positions correspond to these classroom positions.

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

19

Table 13 shows that 43 of the 47 elementary or junior high schools offering immersion required additional classroom teachers and that the junior high schools offering both Early and Late Immersion required the greatest number of positions per school on average. The fact that 91% of the schools offering the Grade P-9 immersion option required additional classroom positions may be surprising, but it coincides with another fact which has been well known in the operation of schools for decades. It is commonly understood that greater efficiencies of operation are gained when students within a school system are housed in a small number of schools with larger enrolments rather than having them housed in a large number of schools with smaller enrolments. And one of the greatest efficiencies in larger schools is the number of teachers required in each school to offer the programs. This understanding of how staffing allocation efficiencies are gained when student body enrolments are larger can be explained by speaking of “schools under one roof”.This expression was used by used by several principals during the consultations as was the expression, “schools within a school”. In a very real sense, when a school is offering Early Immersion or Late Immersion, that school is operating two schools under one roof. When a junior high school is offering both EI and LI, that school is operating three schools under one roof. The point of introducing this understanding can be stated explicitly. If immersion programs can be offered to the same number of students in a smaller number of schools, then the cost of additional classroom teacher and specialist teachers should be less. The following observations summarize this section and set out what seem to be major issues regarding the immersion funding support and the additional cost of immersion as an optional program. Observation 4-1: While the normal operating costs of the HRSB have increased in each of the past five years and while the immersion programs have continued to expand, the revenue support committed by the federal government and provincial government declined for 2007-08 and then remained constant; it is $431,480 for this school year. Thus, a greater portion of the cost of immersion is being covered by the Board’s general revenue. Observation 4-2: Under the present operational arrangement for delivering immersion, the financial cost of Early and Late Immersion is very significant because of the number of additional teaching positions required. In comparison, the cost of additional busing is much less. For this school year, the estimated additional cost of

teaching positions is over $7 million compared to an estimated range of $75,000 to $125,000 for additional busing. Observation 4-3: The necessity of adding teaching positions to offer immersion in a school is directly related to the fact that, in reality, the English program and immersion programs are being delivered to two or even three different student bodies. Especially in terms of staffing and scheduling, two or three schools are being administered under one roof. From this perspective, the potential to reduce the financial cost is directly related to finding ways to offer immersion to the same students in fewer schools. Observation 4-4: Over the next five years, the number of lead classes will diminish to zero because all immersion classes in the school system will be in place after completing their first year of operation. For the first time since immersion started over 25 years ago, no lead classes will exist. In other words, all immersion classes will be funded completely by the Board through its general operating fund, unless applications for French Special Project Grants and the Minority Language Funding to be spent in new ways are approved by the Department of Education. The Department is reviewing French Second Language Funding this year.
Specific Situations that Need Attention

The third question defining this study’s purpose asks the following: According to the historical data and enrolment projections, which specific situations should be addressed as soon as possible and which ones should be addressed over the next few years? The approach taken in answering this question is to identify the situations in particular schools that need attention, based only on the historical enrolment data, and to explain why they have been singled out. As noted early in the paper, new data to calculate practical enrolment projections is not available until later this spring. Rather than proposing concrete solutions for the situations identified, questions are raised that can be considered in open consultation processes which include opportunities for public input on specific board staff proposals—processes perhaps similar to the “school review” process defined in legislation. To go beyond the simple identification of situations would be contrary to the purpose of this study and would be inappropriate given the fact that families and communities were not consulted in the development of particular solutions.

20

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

Table 14: 5-Year Enrolment History at Bedford South School 2006-07 LI English Prog % LI of Ttl. Gr. 7 LI 60 505 10.6% 25 2007-08 61 540 10.1% 19 2008-09 68 542 11.1% 29 2009-10 74 565 11.6% 29 2010-11 43 623 6.5% 0

Bedford South School This school house Grade Primary to Grade 9 and offers Late Immersion. Table 14 provides its 5-year enrolment history. Bedford South School has been singled out for one reason which may prove to be an anomaly: There are no students in Grade 7 Late Immersion this year. Last spring, only eight students registered for Grade 7 LI, so the decision was made to transport them to the LI program at Bedford Junior High and three families accepted this option. As demonstrated in Table 14, the LI enrolment increased from 2006-07 to 2009-10, as did the LI enrolment as a percent of the total enrolment. The reason behind the very low registration last year is believed to be related to a unique circumstance which no longer exists. Although the registration process for September has not been completed yet, there is reason for optimism that the Grade 7 enrolment will be sufficient to support a class in September. This situation at Bedford South School may stabilize, especially if the staffing concerns can be addressed positively. For now, it seems that every effort is being made to ensure that the stability evident in the enrolment history can be restored.

Bell Park Academic Centre The EI enrolment history at Bell Park Academic Centre (BPAC) is reported in Table 15. As indicated in the table, the enrolment increases until 2008-09 because a lead class was added each year since the program began in 2002-03. The decline after 2008-09 is the concern because that is the first year when immersion was offered from Gr. Primary to Grade 6. The concern about the EI enrolment decline of 14.5% in the past three years is reinforced by the decline in the Grade Primary enrolment in the past two years and the steady decline (34%) in the English program enrolment since 2006-07. There is no numerical evidence to suggest that the EI enrolment will increase. The data in Table 16 is further evidence that the sustainability of the immersion program at BPAC must be questioned. Not only are the enrolments low this year and the attrition rates high from last year, but also the enrolments of 17 and 9 in Grade Primary and Grade 1 can only be expected to drop to unsustainable numbers over the next 5 years. The following recommendation is based on the fact that the sustainability of immersion at Bell Park needs to be given full attention by the Board as a matter of some urgency.

Table 15: 5-Year Enrolment History at Bell Park Academic Centre 2006-07 EI English Prog. % EI of Ttl. Gr. Pr. EI 76 268 22.1% 22 2007-08 97 229 29.8% 26 2008-09 110 191 36.5% 25 2009-10 101 181 35.8% 12 2010-11 94 176 34.8% 17

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

21

Table 16: EI Enrolments and Attrition Rates, 2010-01, at BPAC Gr. P. EI Attrition 17 — Gr. 1 9 25.0% Gr. 2 21 12.5% Gr. 3 14 12.5% Gr. 4 16 5.9% Gr. 5 13 13.3% Gr. 6 4 50.0%

Recommendation: Through consultation with the school and its community, the potential for the immersion enrolment to increase and stabilize should be assessed during the next school year. If no reasons for optimism are found, the Early Immersion program should not be continued in Grade Primary and the classes already being provided should be phased out. Chebucto Heights Elementary School The Early Immersion enrolment at Chebucto Heights Elementary School (CHES) and the location of the school relative to the other schools offering EI in the Halifax West High School family of schools give reason to ask if there is a better arrangement to ensure sustainability. This school and the John W. MacLeod-Fleming Tower Elementary School (JWM-FT) offer the P-6 EI program that feeds into the Grade 7-9 program at Elizabeth Sutherland School and then Grade 10-12 at J. L. Illsley School.

According to Table 17, the EI enrolment is 87 this year compared to 96 five years ago and the enrolment temporarily dropped to 70 in 2008-09. The English program enrolment decreased steadily from 225 to 181 (-19.6%). The EI enrolment as percentage of the total increased from 29.9% to 32.5%, but this is due to the more significant decline in the English enrolment. Table 18 provides similar data for John W. MacLeod-Fleming Tower Elementary School for the purpose of comparing the two schools. The EI enrolment of John W. MacLeod increased from 153 to 195 (27.5%) over the past 5 years while the English program enrolment decreased steadily from 187 to 168 (-10.2%). The EI enrolment as percentage of the total increased from 45.0% to 53.7%. Table 19 and Table 20 add more detail in comparing the enrolments of the two schools.

Table 17: 5-Year Enrolment History, Chebucto Heights Elementary School 2006-07 EI English Prog % EI of Ttl. Gr. Pr. EI 96 225 29.9% 23 2007-08 76 205 27.0% 6 2008-09 70 193 26.6% 18 2009-10 87 184 32.1% 22 2010-11 87 181 32.5% 20

Table 18: 5-Year Enrolment History, John W. MacLeod-Fleming Tower Elementary 2006-07 EI English Prog % EI of Ttl. Gr. Pr. EI 153 187 45.0% 25 2007-08 148 175 45.8% 30 2008-09 156 183 46.0% 37 2009-10 161 174 48.1% 33 2010-11 195 168 53.7% 47

22

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

Table 19: EI Enrolments, 2010-11, at CHES and JWM-FT Gr. P. CHES JWM-FT Total EI 20 47 67 Gr. 1 20 31 51 Gr. 2 16 34 50 Gr. 3 0 26 26 Gr. 4 10 22 32 Gr. 5 5 14 19 Gr. 6 16 21 37

Table 20: EI Attrition rates into 2010-11, CHES and JWM-FT Gr. P. CHES JWM-FT — — Gr. 1 9.1% 6.1% Gr. 2 15.8% 2.9% Gr. 3 100% -4.0%* Gr. 4 28.6% -10.0%* Gr. 5 37.5% 0.0% Gr. 6 -6.7%* 0.0%

* A negative attrition rate means that the enrolment increased from one grade to the next. The following observations drawn from the four tables summarize the numerical evidence behind the concern about the sustainability of EI at Chebucto Heights: • The EI enrolments this year are too low at CHES—yes, one student was gained in Grade 6 (attrition rate of -6.7%), but there are no students in Grade 3 and starting with only 20 in Grade Primary and Grade 1 could lead to very low enrolments over the next few years. The 5-year history of Grade Primary enrolments for CHES shows no growth while that of JWM-FT shows steady, significant growth. This year’s high attrition rates for CHES, if continued, will cause serious declines in enrolments which are already too low; the attrition rates for JWM-FT are low, in fact two are negative which means that these enrolments actually increased since last year. The solution seems to lie in finding a way to combine some or all of the Grade P-6 EI classes. Of course there are many factors to be evaluated in open consultation with the schools and their respective communities. Any change in the present arrangement will surely cause difficulty for some families, but if nothing is done in the next few years, the EI program at Chebucto Heights may be at greater and greater risk and this can only be to the detriment of the EI program in Elizabeth Sutherland School and then Halifax West High School; thus, the following recommendation. Recommendation: Through consultation with the schools and their respective communities, the options for combining the Early Immersion classes of Chebucto Heights Elementary School and John W. MacLeod-Fleming Tower Elementary School in one school should be assessed within the next two or three years. Eastern Passage Education Centre Both Early and Late Immersion are offered in Grade 7-9 at Eastern Passage Education Centre (EPEC). The sustainability of offering both programs comes into question because of the effect on the Late Immersion enrolment of starting Early Immersion. The initial impact is evident in the tables below. Over the past five years, according to Table 21, the LI enrolment decreased from 70 to 37 (by 47%) and the EI enrolment increased very significantly. The first or lead EI class in Grade 9 was added in 2007-08, making this the first year that the school had EI in all grades; thus, it is more reasonable to look at the EI

The numerical data and the circumstances of the three schools also suggest possible solutions. Seeking answers to the following questions may lead to ways to deliver a more sustainable EI program in this family of schools: 1. The combined EI enrolments of Chebucto Heights and John W. MacLeod are more than sufficient to be sustainable. Can these classes be combined in one of the two elementary schools? 2. Elizabeth Sutherland School houses Grade P-9, including the Grade 7-9 Early Immersion program. Since the EI students from Chebucto Heights and John W. MacLeod come to this school in Grade 7, could they come at an earlier grade?

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

23

Table 21: 5-Year Enrolment History, Eastern Passage Education Centre 2006-07 EI LI Eng. Prog. % Imm/Ttl. 39 70 434 20.1% 2007-08 49 44 415 18.3% 2008-09 66 63 379 25.4% 2009-10 71 61 330 28.6% 2010-11 85 37 331 27.4%

Table 22: Enrolment History of Grade 7 Early and Late Immersion, EPEC 03-04 Gr. 7 EI Gr. 7 LI — 29 04-05 — 54 05-06 19 0 06-07 19 34

07-08 18 20

08-09 34 20

09-10 20 24

10-11 36 0

enrolment increase since that year. It increased from 49 to 85 (by 93%) over the past four years. The impact of starting Early Immersion on the Late Immersion enrolment in Grade 7 first took effect seven years later in 2005-06. Likely, it is not a coincidence that no students enrolled in LI that year, as shown in Table 22. But in the following year, 34 started the program and the figure remained stable for the next three years. The enrolment of zero in Grade 7 this year, due to very few families expressing interest, is a reason to be concerned. The following points summarize the reasons to question the sustainability of Late Immersion at EPEC: • • • The total enrolment of the school decreased from 543 to 453 (by 16.6%) over the past five years. The English program enrolment decreased by 23.8%, although it did not decrease since last year. If the Early Immersion enrolment continues to increase while the total enrolment of the school decreases, the Late Immersion enrolments will not rise to levels that are more consistent and sustainable.

Even if the EI and LI enrolments stabilize relative to each other, being able to sustain both programs will depend what happens to the total school enrolment.

Recommendation: Through consultation with the school and its community, the potential for the immersion enrolment to increase and stabilize should be assessed, within the next five years. Given the variances and instability in the enrolment data and the fact that Early Immersion is still relatively new in this area, the enrolment patterns may become clearer and more consistent over the next five years. Oyster Pond Academy In 2007-08, Oyster Pond Academy (OPA) opened as a new Grade P-9 school with Late Immersion offered in Grade 7. Table 23 provides the 4-year enrolment data since the school opened. The following notes explain the concern about the sustainability of Late Immersion at OPA:

Table 23: 4-Year Enrolment History, Oyster Pond Academy 2007-08 Late Immersion English Prog. % Imm./Ttl. 72 453 13.7% 2008-09 68 452 13.1% 2009-10 54 460 10.5% 2010-11 54 433 11.1%

24

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

As evident in Table 23, the LI enrolment decreased since the school opened, that of the English program increased and the percentage of students decreased. The percentage of students in LI is quite low in comparison to most other schools in the school system and most others are increasing where they are not affected by the startup of Early Immersion. In addition to the data in Table 23, the Grade 7 LI enrolments for each of the four years are 27, 26, 11 and 24; no increase and one very low enrolment last year.

programs will be delivered by highly qualified professionals who have the necessary resources in sufficient quantity. The following premise, which underlies this whole study, is fundamental to this characterization of an effective, sustainable model of delivery: To add educational value for students and families is of primary importance and to gain financial benefits is secondary. To propose a model based on this premise is not to diminish the importance of finding operational or financial efficiencies. The HRSB has a major responsibility to make the most efficient use of its very scarce resources. This previous comment seems necessary under the very immediate and urgent circumstances in which all school boards have found themselves, over the past few months, while this study was being carried out. The Department of Education has asked all boards to make some major expenditure reductions to match lower revenues for this next fiscal year. The HRSB decided last year that this study should be completed. It was not initiated this year to find ways to reduce expenditures. One can say now, in hindsight, because of the unexpected expectation from the Department of Education, that the timing of this study is less than desirable—an understatement really. This characterization of a model is put forward as a suggestion for critical analysis and debate, rather than a formal, recommendation which has been solidly constructed and tested. The sketch is very preliminary, components are missing, and some connections are weak. Careful thought and frank discussion must occur to move from rough sketch to final blueprint. The model described below, implicitly if not explicitly, should reflect the results of the previous analyses or sections in this paper. In other words, there should be no surprises at this point. Some Characteristics of a Model for the HRSB The model of delivery for French Immersion in the HRSB school system should take on the following characteristics as schools are reorganized, reconfigured or newly constructed in the years to come, in the long term of course, but perhaps to some degree in the short term: 1. From a system perspective and where enrolments are sustainable, both Early Immersion and Late Immersion should continue so as to provide more than one access point to start immersion.

It must be acknowledged that OPA has been open for only four years, thus more time should be taken to watch for greater stability and, hopefully, growth in the interest level of families and students in Late Immersion. Recommendation: The principal and staff of Oyster Pond Academy should continue their efforts to promote Late Immersion with families and students and assess the potential for increasing the enrolment over the next five years or so.

A Model of Delivery for French Immersion

The last question defining this study’s purpose asks what model of delivery for French Immersion should be more effective and sustainable. A few preliminary comments are necessary to place the response in context. Preliminary Comments In proposing a model, it is recognized that immersion programs have already been established in the HRSB school system, in various forms of delivery, and that it would be very difficult to completely dismantle what has been implemented. If immersion was to be implemented for the first time, then the proposed model might be different. No reasons were found to conclude that a major dismantling would be in the best interest of students and families. Along the same vein, the reader must understand that the primary purpose of this study is to suggest a model that would fit best the circumstances unique to the HRSB. The purpose is not to suggest a generic model that might fit the circumstances of other school systems. This proposal assumes that the progress already evident in staffing and acquisition of suitable instructional materials and resources will continue. Whatever the preferred model, the

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

25

2. The immersion enrolments at individual schools or sites should be generally higher than they are now to create optimal, grade-level enrolments. In Grade P to Grade 9, there should be at least two classes per grade. 3. There should be a smaller number of “schools under one roof”. In other words, the present or expanding “student bodies” in the immersion programs will be housed in fewer schools of higher enrolments. 4. Where possible, the present practice of housing both Early and Late Immersion, along with the English program, in junior high schools should be avoided because this arrangement is the least effective in terms of financial cost and flexibility in scheduling for students and teachers. 5. Busing should be provided from a few strategically located pickup points to transport students to more centrally located immersion schools which serve larger catchment areas, either within particular families of schools or across boundaries to link with the catchment areas of a neighboring family of schools. 6. Most, if not all, programs and student services for immersion classes should be delivered in French by teachers and specialists who are qualified to do so. 7. In all schools that offer both English and immersion programs, the principal should be bilingual and/or have professional experience as an immersion teacher. 8. The level of student services support—e.g., the number of resource teachers—for students in immersion programs should match the level of support for students in English programs. 9. A more comprehensive, mandatory orientation program for families who are considering immersion should be given high priority to make them more aware of the implications, possible scenarios and potential pitfalls, from Grade Primary or Grade 7 to Grade 12, of starting an immersion program— some schools are doing this already. 10. DELF (diplôme d’études en langue française) is a program in which official French language diplomas are awarded by the National Ministry of Education of France. The diplomas are recognized around the world (in 165 countries) and are valid for life. Presently this program is available in at least two HRSB high schools and is being considered by others. DELF should be made available to all Grade 12 immersion students.

Some Advantages of the Model The following list highlights the advantages of the model outlined above: • In the schools with larger immersion enrolments, there will be greater opportunity for immersion teachers to collaborate and greater flexibility to match teacher qualifications and preferences to teaching assignments. Larger immersion enrolments will increase the potential to overcome some of the “social” concerns of teachers and families for children in Early Immersion; i.e., there should be less single classes of students who remain together from Grade Primary to Grade 9 or even Grade 12. The attrition rates in Early Immersion and Late Immersion should be reduced because families will be better informed before they decide to enroll their child in immersion and because students who experience difficulties will have student services support. Having a smaller number of schools in which immersion is offered, with more optimal enrolments, will lessen the potential for negative impact on the delivery of the English program. One potential financial advantage of this model is related to the fact that less “additional” classroom teacher positions should be required to support immersion programs in fewer schools with greater enrolments. Reducing the number of immersion sites to gain this potential financial advantage is directly related to the fact that adding a few buses and more bus runs to centralize the delivery of immersion is less expensive than adding classroom positions in numerous sites.

One observation which came into focus during the writing of this list of advantages seems noteworthy. The characteristics of the optimal model of delivery for immersion programs are, in most respects if not all, those of the optimal model for the delivery of the English program. In the simplest of terms, the organizational effectiveness in the delivery of the traditional English program is very closely related to the size of the school enrolment. Schools with optimal enrolments can deliver their programs with greater effectiveness and operational efficiency. Suggestions for Further Consideration Two ideas surfaced during the consultations sessions which deserve further attention. They are introduced here in the form of suggestions for further consideration in developing a better model.

26

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

Suggestion 1: Early Immersion should begin in Grade 1, instead of Grade Primary. When students enter Grade Primary, whether in immersion or the English program, little or nothing is known about any learning difficulties or special needs which may show up within their first year. Grade Primary teachers learn much about the abilities of their students, often within the first few months. If families did not have to choose immersion until Grade 1, the likelihood of parents being better prepared to make the best choice would be greater. With better choices made on a more informed information base, the attrition rates later on should be reduced. This option is in place or is being discussed in several jurisdictions in Canada. The HRSB should check with those jurisdictions. Suggestion 2: The separate classes for Grade 9 students in Early Immersion and Late Immersion could be combined in Grade 9 instead of Grade 10, as they are now. In their infancy as programs, Early Immersion and Late Immersion were combined in the same classroom with the same teachers when the students entered Grade 10. In those early years of development with little research to back up decisions, this was likely the most obvious point to combine the programs. Furthermore, the decision was likely quite arbitrary because “best practices” had not been established. Now that combined classes of EI and LI have been in place in high school for quite a few years, what do the expertise and experience of teachers say about combining the programs in Grade 10? This consultant was very deliberate in seeking out teachers and administrators in high schools where the two programs are combined and in junior high schools where both are offered independently of each other. Early in the discussions, the suggestion surfaced that EI and LI could be combined in Grade 9. As this suggestion was discussed at subsequent meetings this consultant gained sufficient confidence to put the suggestion forward in this paper for further consideration. Although some participants in the discussions were uncertain about the idea, none raised strong opposition and most concluded, “Not a problem”.

Single Program Immersion Schools: Something to Think About This characterization of a model of delivery prompts a question about a possible model in the distant future. The possibility is introduced in the form of a question because it can be no more than a question at this point. It is a question, not a prediction or a recommendation and it is put to paper only as something to think about. Whereas: a) Almost 9,000 students (18%) of the HRSB students are enrolled in immersion this year in 59 schools (43%); b) The total HRSB immersion enrolment is increasing, as are many of the school immersion enrolments as a percentage of the total enrolment; c) The number of qualified immersion classroom, specialist and resource teachers will increase; d) The number of immersion administrators can be expected to increase in direct proportion to the number of immersion teachers; e) The problem of insufficient teaching materials and resources is being addressed positively; f ) The number of immersion sites may be reduced to increase enrolments; g) New generations of families in HRSB will have achieved success in the immersion programs during their public schooling; and h) More regional administrators and school board members in positions of leadership will have a professional experience and/or public education in immersion; The question is: Will a single program immersion school become a viable option both in terms of educational advantage for students and operational efficiency for the school system? This question is left for thoughtful and careful consideration.

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

27

Final Comments

References

As noted previously, the timing for the release of this report is not great because of the financial challenges facing school boards in Nova Scotia this spring. The purpose of this study was to find ways to ensure that the delivery of French immersion is effective and sustainable, not to find ways to solve the HRSB’s financial problems. Because of these conflicting purposes, it seems important to put one figure in context. That figure is the estimated additional cost of $7.1 million for immersion classes this year in Grade Primary to Grade 9. Not understood in context, the figure seems large. Presently, the HRSB is providing 1990 classroom teacher and specialist positions for all programs in Grade P-9. The annual cost of these positions is about $110 million. This means that the estimated additional cost of P-9 immersion is 6.5% of the total cost. Presented in this context, the figure of $7.1 million doesn’t seem so large. The second comment is about the future of immersion in the HRSB. Nine thousand or 18% of the HRSB’s 50,000 students are in immersion this year in 59 schools. They are in a program which is growing and this growth can be expected to continue while the total system enrolment declines. The magnitude and significance of this program needs to be acknowledged and appreciated. Yes, immersion is an optional program, but it is here to stay. The challenge is to make its delivery more sustainable during this time of very scarce financial resources. The very final comment is to say directly what may have been only implied. Immersion expanded to what it is now by starting new or lead classes in individual schools where and when the demand was sufficient. This practice stopped almost a decade ago and, based on the model just introduced, it should not start up again. Expansion in the future should occur only as larger enrolments of immersion students are housed in a smaller number of schools with some new type of transportation service where necessary to improve accessibility.

Bournot-Trites, M. & Tellowitz, U. (2002). In The Atlantic Provinces Educational Foundation (Ed.), Report of Current Research on the Effects of Second Language Learning on First Language Literacy Skills. Halifax, NS: The Printing House. Murphy, Elizabeth, (2001). “The Relationship of Starting Time and Cumulative Time to Second Language Acquisition and Proficiency”, The Morning Watch: Education and Social Analysis. Netten, Joan, (2007). “Optimal Entry Point for French Immersion”, Revue de l’Université de Moncton, Numéro hors série, 2007, p. 5-22. Program Policy for French Second Language Programs, Department of Education, Nova Scotia, June, 1998. Rehorick, Sally; Dicks, Joseph; Kristmanson, Paula; and Cogsell, Fiona, (2006). “Quality Learning in French Second Language in Now Brunswick”, A Brief Presented to the Department of Education.

28

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

Halifax Regional School Board — The Delivery of French Immersion

29

Gunn’s Leadership Consulting Services

Public Private

Report No: 11-04-1298 Date: May 25, 2011

HALIFAX REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARD Diversity Management Policy Annual Progress Report PURPOSE: To provide the Board with an update of D.009 Diversity Management Policy Procedures. The Diversity Management Policy is a tool used by Senior Staff to achieve a qualified workforce that reflects the diverse communities served by the Halifax Regional School Board, and ensure environments of inclusion and respect. Section 5.2 of the Policy indicates that: Overall implementation of this policy will be a joint responsibility of the Board Services and Human Resource Services Departments. The Coordinator-Diversity Management and Coordinator-Human Resource Services, co-chair the Diversity Management Committee whose mandate it is to implement the Diversity Management Policy Procedures. The Policy requires that the Superintendent submit an annual progress report to the Governing Board. Current and Accurate Data The collection of this data is on-going. The Workforce Survey is based on voluntary self-identification; therefore the precise composition of our workforce is undetermined. We will continue to track tends and determine increases or decreases in the numbers of underrepresented groups. Applicants can self-identify when applying for positions and new employees are expected to complete the Workforce Survey. Strategic Planning and Management The Plan is based on recommendations from phases one and two of the Employment Systems Review (ESR). An ESR is a comprehensive process used to identity and remove barriers to employment, retention, advancement and increases equity for employees; in particular employees who belong to underrepresented groups. Phase one of the five-year Diversity Management Plan was presented to the Board for information on May 28, 2008 (Report No.08-05-1138). The Diversity Management Committee has completed phases one and two of an Employment Systems Review. The ESR is an essential procedure of the Policy that will help the Board to achieve its goal of respectful, inclusive workplaces and schools. Phase one involved all central office employees at the following locations: 90 Alderney, the Bell Building, Edgewood and Bedford. Phase two involved all school-based staff: teachers, custodians, educational program assistants, principals, vice-principals and secretaries. The Review is a critical examination of the board’s written and unwritten, formal and informal employment practices in the following employment

BACKGROUND:

CONTENT:

systems: recruitment, selection, conditions of employment (retention), professional development and training, promotion and upward mobility. The process involved the distribution of a survey, followed by person-toperson interviews and focus groups that allowed the collection of detailed responses to the Survey questions. The Coordinator-Diversity Management meets regularly with the Director and Coordinator, Human Resource Services to respond to the recommendations. As part of the Employment Systems Review, the Diversity Management Committee examined all board policies and has recommended amendments to policy language that will result in the removal of gender and/or cultural bias. Further, the policies were assessed to determine: Legality: Does the policy or practice conform to applicable human rights and employment laws? Is the policy or practice applied in consistent manner? Does the policy or practice have a negative impact on any designated group? Is the policy or practice objective and does it accomplish its predictive or evaluative function? Is the policy or practice based on bona fide occupational requirements?

Consistency:

Adverse impact:

Validity:

Job-relatedness:

Business necessity: Is the policy or practice necessary for safe and efficient operation of the business? The Coordinator-Diversity Management has presented the proposed policy amendments to the Coordinator of Policy and Research. Regular Reporting and Monitoring An annual update is presented to the Board.

On-going Training and Development Professional development in cultural competence, harassment and human rights is available to all work groups. During the past school year staff have designed and delivered: ● ● cultural competence professional development sessions to school staff as requested (2010-11 participants to date: 32 schools) half-day Harassment Policy education sessions to: - RCH and Sexual Harassment Liaison Volunteers - Leadership Development Program participants - All Elementary teachers (2010-11 participants to date: 808) half-day sessions on “Having Difficult Conversations on Harassment or Discrimination” to school administrators and other school-based supervisory staff (through Human Resource Services PD calendar) age-appropriate Harassment Policy education sessions to students grades Primary to 12 (2010-11 participants to date: 4170) N/A Within the current budget. September 2010 – June 2011 N/A The Board receives this Report for information. N/A Heather Chandler, Coordinator – Diversity Management E-mail: chandler@hrsb.ns.ca Senior Staff, May 9, 2011 Board, May 25 2011

COST: FUNDING: TIMELINE: APPENDICES: RECOMMENDATIONS: COMMUNICATIONS: From:

To:

Public Private

X

Report No. 11-04-1299 Date: May 2, 2011

HALIFAX REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARD High School Attendance Pilot

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this report is to accept the opportunity to participate in the high school attendance pilot and to identify the high schools who have expressed an interest in participating. To continue to improve student achievement and learning for all students. The Department of Education established The Minister’s Working Committee on Absenteeism and Classroom Climate to examine the complex challenges related to absenteeism and student engagement in the learning process. This committee tabled its report in September 2009. The Minister’s Response to Promoting Student Engagement: Report of the Minister’s Working Committee on Absenteeism and Classroom Climate was published in November 2010 and contained, among other things, the authorization for “a two-year trial period where boards may allow high schools to implement a policy whereby students who do not attend 80% of classes may become ineligible to receive a credit for a course.”

BUSINESS PLAN GOAL:

BACKGROUND:

CONTENT:

When the Minister’s Response was received, a focus group of high school principals was struck to review the document, with particular attention to Recommendation 8. The Focus group reviewed the report and formulated a recommendation for our board. In addition, the report was on the agenda of a high school principals meeting for further discussion. An invitation was extended to all high schools to express interest in participating in this two-year pilot. The following eleven high schools have expressed interest in participating and will be included in the pilot: • • • • • • • • • • • Auburn Drive Charles P. Allen Citadel Dartmouth High Duncan MacMillan Halifax West J.L. Ilsley Lockview Millwood Musquodoboit Rural Sir John A. Macdonald

Four high schools responded indicating they are not interested in participating in the pilot:

• • • •

Cole Harbour Eastern Shore District Prince Andrew Sackville High

The Department of Education has published DRAFT Guidelines for High School Credit Attendance Pilot (April 7, 2011). These guidelines will form the basis of staged interventions to support full and regular attendance.

COST: FUNDING: TIMELINE: APPENDICES:

N/C N/C Implementation for September 2011. Appendix A: Minister’s Response to Promoting Student Engagement: Report of the Minister’s Working Committee on Absenteeism and Classroom Climate (November 2010) Appendix B: Department of Education DRAFT Guidelines for High School Credit Attendance Pilot (April 7, 2011)

RECOMMENDATIONS:

It is recommended that the Board receive this report for information.

COMMUNICATIONS: AUDIENCE High School Principals Department of Education School Advisory Councils RESPONSIBLE Danielle McNeil-Hessian Danielle McNeil-Hessian High School Principals TIMELINE May 26, 2011 May 26, 2011 June SAC meetings

From:

For further information please contact Danielle McNeil-Hessian, Director of School Administration or Elwin LeRoux, Coordinator of School Administration at 464-2000 ext 2275. Senior Staff Planning, Policy and Priority Committee: Full Board May 2, 2011 May 11, 2011 May 25, 2011

To:

Filename:

H:\2010-2011\School Admin\Board Report\High School Attendance

Date last revised:

May 10, 2011

Appendix B

Draft Guidelines for High School Credit Attendance Pilot The Board is committed to the full implementation of sections 24-26, 38 and 116 of the Nova Scotia Education Act which clearly defines student attendance as a responsibility that is shared among parents/guardians, students, teachers, principals and the school board. Under this pilot a high school student may lose eligibility to be granted credit for a course if he/she is not present in class for at least 80% of the course. The following procedures will be followed in monitoring the minimum attendance standard that must be maintained in order to receive an academic credit. At each of the following stages, there must be documented evidence of individual interventions, aligned with the principles of Positive and Effective Behavioural Supports (PEBS) that support student engagement, attendance and academic success. These interventions must take into account the personal, social, and cultural/racial experiences which impact student connection and engagement with school. There must also be evidence of having engaged in the strategies outlined in Recommendation 6 of the Minister’s Response to Promoting Student Engagement. “ The Committee recommends that school boards develop clear policies for staged interventions in response to student absenteeism. The policies must include the ongoing direct contact with parents (phone, letter, and in person) by the teacher and school administration, ongoing sharing of the attendance profile of the student with the parent, discussions with the student and the parent on the benefits of school attendance and the consequences of non-attendance, referrals to student supports, and the use of in-school suspension where needed. The policies should also outline the roles and responsibilities of the student teacher, school administration and school board in addressing attendance issues.” The loss of eligibility to be granted credit for a course cannot be pursued without evidence of this documentation. If a student accumulates 5 absences the teacher will contact the parents/guardians. Teacher contact with parents/guardians may take the form of a phone call, phone message or a letter mailed to the home. If a student accumulates 8 absences the parents/guardians the teacher will directly contact the parent by means of a phone call. If a student accumulates 10 absences there will be a meeting of parents/guardians, or an adult advocate, administration and student to explore the possibility of creating an attendance contract with the student. If a student accumulates 14 absences a registered letter will be sent indicating there is a danger of the student not qualifying for the credit and outlining what must happen to prevent this consequence, and indicating the appeal procedure that is in place.

A student or the student’s parent/guardian may appeal his/her loss of credit eligibility. The student may do this by explaining why he/she should be reinstated in the course to an Appeal Panel, The Appeal panel will be composed of the principal, or vice-principal, a guidance counsellor, and the subject teacher. The Appeal Panel will be asked to review all required documentation including required documentation of interventions and to reach consensus to either uphold the decision to remove the student from the course or to recind the decision to remove the student from the course. If the panel confirms the loss of eligibility for credit the principal shall make the recommendation for withdrawal of credit to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designate from the regional team. The recommendation will be confirmed or denied based on a review of the required documentation including notes from the appeal process. Suggested Categories An excused absence is one approved by the student’s parent or guardian. These absences will still contribute to the maximum of 16 absences which can cause loss of eligibility for the course credit. There are several circumstances and designations for which a student will be marked present in a course. These include: student is present in class; student was in the office or accessing student services support during class; student was on a school-authorized field trip, participating in a school team activity or another school sanctioned activity; student was at a job placement such as co-op. There are several circumstances for which a student will be marked absent from a course due to special circumstances. These include: student has a documented acute or chronic medical condition or specialist appointments; student is absent due to a verifiable religious observance; student is absent due to a death in the immediate(as determined in particular cultural contexts) family; student is absent as a result of participation in educational opportunity or special activity as deemed appropriate by school administration; student is absent as a direct result of legal obligations which are supported by court subpoenas or appropriate documentation. Such absences shall not be used in the calculation of the 20% threshold.

April 7, 2011.

Public x Private

Report No: 11-05-1302 Date: May 25, 2011

HALIFAX REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARD Proposal of French Special Project Application (2011-2012)

PURPOSE:

To inform the Halifax Regional School Board of the proposed French Special Project Application 20112012.

BUSINESS PLAN GOAL: Goal #1: To continue to improve student achievement for all students.

BACKGROUND:

The Department of Education, French Second Language Division, requests a French Special Project application from each school board annually. French Special Projects are funded on a cost-shared basis with the Federal Government funding 50% of total approved costs, the Department of Education funding 20% of the total approved costs and the School Board contributing 30% of the total approved costs. This application supports both French Immersion and Core French programming. French Special Project funding defrays only a small portion of the overall French budget. Proposals must fulfill the following criteria: • Continuation of approved programs – projects may only represent the salary component of a French second language teaching position and be reflective of actual time spent teaching in French within the particular project. • Salary components for personnel responsible for French education – this represents the salary components of French program consultants that directly support schools and teachers with the delivery of Core and French Immersion program(s). • Projects for professional development – for teachers of French second language programs (French Immersion and Core French). Funding is made available to assist boards in offsetting costs associated with the implementation of new curriculum and providing opportunities for teachers to stay abreast of new teaching methods. These projects only represent the costs for substitute teachers and facilitators. The actual salaries of consultants and teachers are usually higher than the level of approved funding we receive from the French Special Projects. Therefore, any difference is funded 100% by the board.

CONTENT:

The proposal is comprised of the following sections: A. Consultant/Leader Support for French Education B. Continuation of Program Initiatives (Lead Classes) C. Professional Development For each section of the proposal the cost to the Board is as follows: A. Consultant/Leader Support for French Education B. Continuation of Program Initiatives (Lead Classes) C. Professional Development

COST:

$ 54,000.00 (minimum) $ 67,680.00 (minimum) $ 27,234.00

The projected cost to the Board for 2011-2012 for French Special Project Application including new initiatives is $148, 914.00 Implementation costs vary depending upon the enrolment, staffing and class configurations.

FUNDING:

BREAKDOWN FOR THE PROPOSAL OF FRENCH SPECIAL PROJECT APPLICATION 50% Proposed Federal Funding $ 248,190.00 20% Proposed Provincial Funding $ 99,276.00 30% Proposed Board Cost $148,914 .00 100% Total Proposed Cost $ 496,380 .00

TIMELINE:

For submission to the Department of Education in May 2011, and implementation during the 2011-2012 school year.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

It is recommended that the Halifax Regional School Board accept for information the proposal of French Special Project Application 2011-2012 for submission to the Department of Education.

COMMUNICATIONS: Board

AUDIENCE

Department of Education

RESPONSIBLE Geoff Cainen Heather Syms Geoff Cainen Heather Syms

TIMELINE May 27, 2011 May 27, 2011

From:

For further information please contact Geoff Cainen, Director, Program, gcainen@hrsb.ns.ca, or (902) 464-2000, ext. 2114; or Heather Syms, Coordinator, Education Quality and Accountability, hsyms@hrsb.ns.ca; ext. 2626. Halifax Regional School Board, May 25, 2011

To :

French Second Language Program Services 2021 Brunswick St., P.O. Box 578 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2S9 Tel: 424-6646 – Fax: 424-3937

August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012
1. School Board: Halifax Regional School Board 2. Project Coordinators: Geoff Cainen – Director, Program
Heather Syms – Coordinator, Education Quality and Accountability

3. Titles of Projects:
A) Consultant / Leader Support for French Education

B) Continuation of French Program Initiatives (Lead Classes) C) Professional Development

D) Promotion of French Language and Culture with Students (now included in Minority Funds)

4. Type of Projects:
A) Consultant / Leader Support for French Education • 5.1.1 – Three Full Time Equivalents for French Second Language Programs

B) Continuation of French Program Initiatives (Lead Classes) • • • • • • • • 5.1.2 – Early French Immersion – Astral Elementary - Astral Drive Junior High - Auburn High School -Grade 12 5.1.3 – Early French Immersion – Sunnyside Elementary - Bedford Junior High – Charles P. Allen High Grade 10 5.1.4 – Late French Immersion - Oyster Pond Academy – Eastern Shore District High - Grade 11 5.1.5 – Early French Immersion - Gertrude Parker/Smokey Drive -Leslie Thomas Junior High – Sackville High - Grade 10 5.1.6 – Early French Immersion - Bell Park Academic Centre – Graham Creighton Junior High - Grade 9 5.1.7 – Early French Immersion - Tantallon – Five Bridges - Grade 9 5.1.8 – Early French Immersion – Beechville Lakeside Timberlea School -Ridgecliff Middle School - Grade 9 5.1.9 – Early French Immersion - Ash Lee Jefferson – Georges P. Vanier - Lockview High School - Grade 9

C) Professional Development • 5.1.10 - French Leadership and Networking (see Appendix)

5. Attestation:
If approved, and to integrate this program as a regularly financed education program, the total cost of the project is $496 380.00. The school board would agree to pay its share of the cost of the project $148 914.00

Project Coordinators: Geoff Cainen and Heather Syms

____________________________

____________________________

Superintendent: Carole Olsen

____________________________

Regional Education Officer or CEO: Dr. Alan Lowe ___________________________

6. Type of Projects: Breakdown of Costs:
A) Consultant / Leader Support for French Education
Description of Project Length of Project Outcomes Performance Indicators Costs % of instruction in French

A. Consultant / Leader Support for French Education 5.1.1 – Three Full Time Equivalents for FSL Programs Program support and professional development will be provided to elementary, junior high and senior high Core French teachers. Onsite literacy and program support will be provided to French Immersion classes. 1 year Program support and professional development will be provided to elementary, junior high and senior high French Immersion teachers.

Provide leadership and implementation of provincial documents and initiatives during PD sessions. Create and coordinate leadership teams to deliver professional development. Onsite classroom support for teachers to promote professional goal setting aligned to improved student achievement. Coordinate and provide professional development opportunities relative to teacher professional needs. Support for ordering FSL resources aligned with teacher needs, data and planning for improvement goals. Support French immersion assessments. Provide and allocate support to schools based on data driven decisions.

$180,000.00

100%

• •

B) Continuation of French Program Initiatives (Lead Classes)
% of instruction in French

Description of Project

Length of Project

Outcomes

Performance Indicators

Costs

B) Continuation of French Program Initiatives (Lead Classes)
13th year of 13

5.1.2 – Early French Immersion – Astral Drive Elementary - Astral Drive Junior High - Auburn High School - Grade 12
11th year of 13

5.1.3 – Early French Immersion – Sunnyside Elementary - Bedford Junior High – Charles P Allen High School Grade 10
5th year of 6

Students will develop language and subject area skills as well as gain an insight and an appreciation for Canada’s other official language and culture. The schools will maintain the percentage of instructional time in French as recommended in the Program Policy for French Second Language Programs in Early and Late Immersion.

• Students will achieve the learning outcomes as outlined in the provincial documents and have a range of assessments that measure this growth. • Teachers will participate in professional development to support their professional planning for improvement goals. • Student, parent/guardian and community support will be evident and feedback will be collected from school sites. • School administration will receive support for the French Immersion lead class. • Feedback will be collected to determine if school climate will be enhanced as French language is integrated and promoted. • Resource materials will be

5.1.2 - $23,500.00

50%

5.1.3 - $23,500.00

50%

5.1.4 - $23,500.00

50%

5.1.4 – Late French Immersion – Oyster Pond Academy - Eastern Shore District High - Grade 11
11th year of 13

5.1.5 - $23,500.00

50%

5.1.5 – Early French Immersion – Gertrude Parker/Smokey Drive - Leslie

Thomas Junior High – Sackville High Grade 10
10th year of 13

infused in classrooms to support student achievement
5.1.6 - $32,900.00 70%

5.1.6 – Early French Immersion – Bell Park – Graham Creighton Junior High Grade 9
10th year of 13 5.1.7 - $32,900.00 70%

5.1.7 – Early French Immersion – Tantallon Elementary – Five Bridges Grade 9
10th year of 13 5.1.8 $32,900.00 70%

5.1.8 – Early French Immersion – Beechville Lakeside Timberlea Ridgecliff Middle School - Grade 9

10th year of 13

5.1.9 – Early French Immersion - Ash Lee Jefferson - Georges P. Vanier – Lockview High School - Grade 9

5.1.9 - $32,900.00

70%

Total: $225,600

C) Professional Development
% of instruction in French

Description of Project

Length of Project

Outcomes •

Performance Indicators

Costs

C) Professional Development
5.1.10 French Leadership and Networking

1 year

• Professional development opportunities will be provided to Core French teachers to support the implementation of the Core French initiatives • Leadership teams will be created and organized to support professional development opportunities for Core French teachers • Mentoring and networking opportunities will be provided to French teachers. • Focused and intensive professional development to new French Immersion teachers in the area or numeracy and literacy

Core French teachers will set professional development goals and improve practice within their classrooms. Monitoring at PD sessions will occur to share how PD relates to improved student achievement. Core and/or Immersion teachers will work together to gain a solid understanding of how curriculum alignment, literacy support and data driven decision making can improve student achievement within both literacy and math curricula. New teachers will be provided support through networking and/or mentoring opportunities to further integrate “effective practices” in the classroom.

$90,780 (see details on Appendix 1)

100%

Appendix 1

Supporting Documents: Professional Development (5.1.10) Costs Associated with 2011-2012 Professional Development French Leadership and Networking

Immersion / Core French Mentorship and networking total days required: 76 days x $170 = $12 920 • Grades P-12 - 76 days Funding will be used to provide French Immersion and Core French teachers (Core 4-12 or Immersion P-12) with support relative to their needs and/or interests. These teachers may decide to visit exemplary classes, work with the French Immersion Literacy Support Leader or collaborate to network with other teachers to gain a solid understanding of how curriculum alignment and data driven decisions can improve student achievement within the French curriculum.

Core French Initiative grade 4-12: 263 days x $170 = $44 710 • Leadership Team total days required: 16 days x $170 = $2720 Grades 4-6 teachers: off site days to support literacy strategy initiative within core French classroom ( 225 days x $170 ) $38250 • Leadership Team total days required: Grades 7-9 4 teachers x 3 planning days + 2 presenting days = 14 days = $2380 • Leadership Team total days required: Grades 10-12 2 teachers x 3 planning days + 2 presenting days= 8 days = $1360 Core French Leadership Teams will be created (4-6, 7-9 and 10-12) to provide professional development opportunities to Core French teachers. These teachers will be provided with a solid understanding of how curriculum alignment and successful second language strategies can improve student achievement within the French curriculum.

Primary – Grade 9 French Immersion Literacy and Math initiative

Literacy - 60 days x $170 = $10200 The Finding a Balance (BELLE) initiative is designed to answer the need for support with the implementation of Reading and Writing Workshop in the elementary classrooms in HRSB. The Workshop structure is one where teachers provide explicit instruction, modeled practice, shared practice and independent practice for their students. Research has established this approach as one that provides all learners with the best opportunity for success with literacy. This initiative, and the work that will be done onsite with the literacy consultant, will support teachers by: • providing them with time to work on the design of successful classroom practices in consultation with their literacy coach, • providing them with resources that are designed to facilitate the implementation of the Workshop approach and, • providing them with the support of personnel such as the FSL consultant, the Literacy Coach and/or the school administrator.

Math - 60 days x $170 - $10200 The environment of an effective mathematics class allows children to create their own understanding through problem solving, using manipulatives as thinking tools, social learning, and individual reflection. Teachers are responsible for creating an environment where students work on carefully designed problems to construct their own understanding of the mathematics. The lesson consists of three parts; before, during and after. In the before part of the lesson the teacher will activate prior knowledge and ensure that the task is understood. In the during part of the lesson the teacher lets go and allows the students to solve the problem while listening and asking good questions to support their learning. In the after part of the lesson the teacher facilitates the sharing of ideas encourages reflection and highlights the mathematical concepts of the lesson. This initiative will support teachers by: • • • providing them with time to work on the design of successful classroom practices in consultation with their mathematics coach providing them with resources that are designed to facilitate the implementation of the three part lesson model providing them with the support of personnel such as the FSL consultant, the mathematics Coach and the school administrator.

French Immersion Assessment Support - 75 days x $170 = $12 750 (These days will support the administration and examination of the HRSB assessment results) The assessment tool used for the grade 2 literacy assessment was developed by HRSB staff and is administered by seconded FI teacher assessors, along with the classroom teachers, in a one to one interview format with each grade 2 student following the regular language arts curriculum in French Immersion. The French Immersion assessors and classroom teachers gather valuable insights about the strengths of each student, and where they may need more support. They discuss those insights immediately following the assessment. The teachers can then use that information, along with their own ongoing classroom assessments of the students, to inform their teaching. Parents receive individual reports about their children, and schools receive a graph of their students’ results. The release of student assessment data, when used in conjunction with other data, collected from provincial, board, school and classroom assessments, assists schools in creating a more comprehensive picture of student achievement. This data also allows the board to examine progress over time and present to parents/guardians another piece of information on student achievement.

Breakdown of Cost of French Special Project Funds 2011-2012

PROJECT TITLE Teachers' Salaries
Three Full-Time Equivalents for French Second Language Programs Early French Immersion - Astral Drive Elementary - Astral Drive Junior High - Auburn Drive High (Gr.12) Early French Immersion - Sunnyside Elementary Bedford Junior High - Charles P. Allen (Gr.10) Late French Immersion - Oyster Pond Academy - Eastern Shore District High (Gr.11) Early French Immersion - Gertrude Parker/Smokey Drive Leslie Thomas Junior High - Sackville High (Gr.10) Early French Immersion - Bell Park Academic Centre Graham Creighton Junior High (Gr.9) Early French Immersion - Tantallon Elementary - Five Bridges (Gr. 9) Early French Immersion - Beechville Lakeside Timberlea Ridgecliff Middle School (Gr. 9) Early French Immersion - Ash Lee Jefferson - Georges P. Vanier - Lockview High (Gr. 9)

Total Projected

Approved cost to Board (30%)

Approved Provincial Contribution (20%)

Approved Federal Contribution (50%)

Total Prov. Fed. Funding

$ 180,000.00

$

54,000.00

$

36,000.00

$

90,000.00

$

126,000.00

$ 23,500.00 $ 23,500.00 $ 23,500.00

$ $ $

7,050.00 7,050.00 7,050.00

$ $ $

4,700.00 4,700.00 4,700.00

$ $ $

11,750.00 11,750.00 11,750.00

$ $ $

16,450.00 16,450.00 16,450.00

$ 23,500.00 $ 32,900.00 $ 32,900.00 $ 32,900.00 $ 32,900.00

$ $ $ $ $

7,050.00 9,870.00 9,870.00 9,870.00 9,870.00

$ $ $ $ $

4,700.00 6,580.00 6,580.00 6,580.00 6,580.00

$ $ $ $ $

11,750.00 16,450.00 16,450.00 16,450.00 16,450.00

$ $ $ $ $

16,450.00 23,030.00 23,030.00 23,030.00 23,030.00

Professional Development
French Leadership and Networking $ 90,780.00 $ 27,234.00 $ 18,156.00 $ 45,390.00 $ 63,546.00

TOTAL

$ 496,380.00

$

148,914.00

$

99,276.00

$

248,190.00

$

347,466.00

13/2011

1

FSL Grant Proposal Early Literacy Support: Grades Primary – 3 2011-2012 Halifax Regional School Board

Early French Immersion Literacy Support Teachers: Primary – 3 Request: The Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) requests funds in the amount of $84,000.00 to provide site-based support to students in Grades Primary to 3 in response to the Early Literacy Intervention Framework Proposed Usage: The Halifax Regional School Board’s model of Early Literacy Support is aligned with the Department of Education’s Early Literacy Support framework. It consists of layers of support for students’ who require additional and more intensive literacy instruction. The requested funding would enable us to respond to the second layer of intervention which is small group instruction provided by the Early Literacy Teacher (ELT). This instruction is in addition to the regular classroom literacy instruction and will be provided to grade one students in the fall of our initial year of our implementation. This intervention is for students who are lagging behind their peers and have not responded to additional support provided by the classroom teacher. This intervention is intended to supplement high quality classroom instruction. The Early Literacy Teacher (FI) will be part of the greater Early Literacy Support team also consisting of administration, grades primary to three teachers, resource teacher(s) and other specialist support. This team will monitor the progress of students at risk and oversees the selection of students for Early Literacy support. Mechanism for Accessing : A percentage of these 2 FTE along with the board’s allocation will be allotted to French Immersion schools to work with French Immersion students and support the board’s overall Early Literacy Support Framework..

Halifax Regional School Board Requests

Category

Name 2 FTE – Early Literacy French Immersion Intervention Support

Description This allocation would be divided up and allocated to schools depending on the identified needs of the school

HRSB Grant Request

Proposed Model Proposed Time Frame of Delivery

$84,000

Site-based

1

August 1, 2011 – July 31, 2012

Respectfully submitted by: _____________________ Geoff Cainen Director, Program _____________________ Heather Syms Coordinator, EQA _____________________ Jerry Thibeau Facilitator, Curriculum Implementation

FSL Grant Proposal Core French Literacy Support Grades 4-9 2011-2012 Halifax Regional School Board

Core French Literacy Support Teacher: Grades 4-9 Request: The Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) requests funds in the amount of $60,000.00 to provide site-based support to teachers in Grades 4-9 in relation to improving literacy skills in Core French. Proposed Usage: The Core French Literacy Support teacher (grade 4-9) will work in classrooms with teachers and students supporting literacy initiatives with the purpose of improving student achievement in the acquisition of French as a second language. The Core French Literacy Support teacher (grade 4-9) will provide leadership for professional development in the area of literacy and attend ongoing professional development through French Second Language Programs. The Core French Literacy Support Teacher will be site-based with a 20% teaching assignment at a designated school within the context of a “classe experimentale”. This teacher would then be available for the remaining 80% to provide leadership at various schools across the board (in a coaching role) as well as at the board and department level to promote and support literacy strategies within the Core French classroom. Mechanism for Accessing : This 1 FTE will support teachers in developing early literacy strategies within their grades 4-9 classrooms and will also provide students with opportunities to further develop and acquire skills in French as a second language.

Name

Description

HRSB Grant Request

Proposed Model Proposed Time Frame of Delivery

1 FTE – Core French Literacy Support

This allocation would be a 20% teaching position and an 80% coach position.

$60,000

Site-based

August 1, 2011 – July 31, 2012

Respectfully submitted by: _____________________ Geoff Cainen Director, Program _____________________ Heather Syms Coordinator, EQA _____________________ Jerry Thibeau Facilitator, Curriculum Implementation