The French Immersion Program is designed for kindergarten through twelfth grade. It is called a full immersion program because all academic subjects are taught through French in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. In high school, students have two courses in grades 9 and 10 with a focus on literature and the francophone world. At the elementary level, students are immersed totally in French by their bilingual teachers as they learn math, science, social studies and Language Arts.
The kindergarten is a full-day program. All subjects taught in the regular kindergarten program are taught in the French Immersion Program. At the end of the first year of the program, the children can express themselves quite well in French. In first grade, the children learn to read in French while they continue to study all their subjects using the French language as the language of instruction. In grade two, English Language Arts is introduced daily during a 45-minute class with a trained English Language Arts teacher. The curriculum of math, science, social studies, health, and French Language Arts continues to be taught in French up to grade 8. When students complete grade 8, they have a strong academic background and are also bilingual in French and English. Also in 8th grade, students take a placement test call STAMP (Standards-Based Measure of Proficiency) is the assessment that determine the proficiency level for the French course in High School.
In the middle school, students also study Italian or Russian. In addition, Algebra and Geometry are possible options in math. The interdisciplinary approach for Language Arts, Art and World Studies includes special themes, seminars, field trips, and a strong focus on essay writing. International travel is an enrichment part of the Immersion Program.
At the high school, the immersion students are offered two immersion classes together which are part of a pre-International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. These are the French Language and Civilization course, and the French Language and Literature course. In high school students may take one of the immersion courses and the continuation of the third foreign language started at the middle school level. Other options are IB preparation courses for English, history, science, with access to chemistry and calculus. Higher level IB or, Advanced Placement (AP) are also options. Travel opportunities are being explored for high school students. In addition to the immersion continuity, students may continue the study of their third foreign language which began in middle school, either Italian or Russian.
Links to French Immersion Schools:
Robert Goddard French Immersion School
(Northern Area Grades K-8)
John Hanson French Immersion(Southern Area Grades K-8)
Central High School(Grades 9-12)
Links to Neighboring Districts' French Immersion Programs:
Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools
Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)