As seen OntheGO - Six Points to Consider in Choosing a French-Language School for Your Child

The Language of Instruction

For 20 years, French-language school boards, including Conseil scolaire Viamonde, have administered schools in an entirely Francophone environment and have been dedicated to serving Francophones in Central-Southwestern Ontario. French immersion is offered in English-language schools and the program aims to enable Anglophone students to acquire basic skills in French. 

The Welcome That You Received

The general feeling you had and the welcome you were given during an Open House activity are very telling for your child’s future experience at their new school. Were you greeted enthusiastically, with a smile? Did someone take the time to answer all of your questions? Were you invited to visit the premises? Did the school principal and staff interact with your child to put them at ease? Do you feel confident about the school? Trust your instincts: first impressions are often right. 

The Values of the School Board and Its Schools

All school boards have the same basic mandate, i.e., educating your child so that they learn to read, write and count. But not all school boards have the same mission! Choose a board and a school with values that match your family’s values, and whose mission and vision are aligned with yours. Many families select a school that values effort as much as success, collaborative work, respect for differences and leadership development in young people. 

Results

Of course, you need to pay special attention to the conditions that will allow your child to succeed and to develop their full potential. A school board’s graduation rate is indicative of your child’s chances of success, even at the very beginning of their schooling. Consider a system that will open doors for your child to postsecondary institutions and interesting careers, in particular by promoting the learning of more than one language. 

Daycare Services

School days do not necessarily follow the parents’ work schedule! Therefore you need to plan who will look after your child while you finish your work day. Fortunately, many schools in Ontario, including all Conseil scolaire Viamonde elementary schools, offer before-and after-school daycare services, which are generally operated by a community organization. Find out about the services that are available. A number of daycare centres in school settings also accept toddlers during the day. Wouldn’t it be convenient to drop off or pick up all your children at a single location? 

Your Child’s Well-Being at School

Ask about the various services and initiatives provided by the school to promote student well-being, and make sure that they are what you are looking for. Choose a school that has clear guidelines and procedures to prevent bullying and to intervene when conflict situations arise. School will be your child’s working environment for several years. Therefore, it is important for them to feel comfortable and safe there. Don’t base your decision strictly on academic performance. In addition, make sure that the well-being of students and staff is a priority for the school and the school board.