French Immersion students at École Parc Élémentaire complete a French literacy activity.

French Immersion students at École Parc Élémentaire complete a French literacy activity.

Sherwood Park, AB. — Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) students can delve into one of Canada’s official languages through the Division’s French Immersion program. Open to students from kindergarten to Grade 12, instruction in the program is based on Alberta Education programs of study and designed for children whose first language isn’t French. “I like French immersion because it allows me to do a lot more jobs that I couldn’t do otherwise,” says Thomas Dechaine, a Grade 6 student at École Parc Élémentaire. “We also do a lot of fun French culture things like Carnaval each winter and a field trip to Quebec in Grade 9.”

Year-long, EIPS French Immersion students study in an enriched learning environment where French is used to teach for a significant part of the school day. The goal: To promote students becoming fluent in the language. The program also offers several other advantages.

Notably, it’s proven having a second language enhances creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while making it easier for students to learn additional languages. In fact, research shows a second language can significantly strengthen students’ primary language abilities. “When exploring a second language, students feel a sense of achievement,” says Richelle Krys, a French Immersion teacher at Heritage Hills Elementary. “That, then, helps foster a positive attitude toward learning and can enhance self-esteem.”

French Immersion also helps open doors after graduation. Students can enter EIPS’ French Immersion program in kindergarten or Grade 1 at Ardrossan Elementary, École Campbelltown, École Parc Élémentaire or Heritage Hills Elementary. The program continues at both Sherwood Heights Junior High and Ardrossan Junior Senior High, allowing students to complete their French Immersion education and pursue a broad range of post-secondary and career options. “Being fluent in French provides national and international job opportunities,” says Krys. “It gives students a competitive edge, as employers value these language skills gained from the French Immersion program.”

To complement programming, schools also embed cultural activities and opportunities into the lesson plans. Some of these include Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie; winter carnivals, inspired by the Carnaval de Quebec; French-speaking guest speakers and performances; and various Franco-Alberta ceremonies. “Collectively, these provide students in-depth knowledge and exposure to the French-speaking world, allowing students to gain an appreciation for various francophone cultures.”

A sentiment Dechaine echoes: “I love being able to speak French. It's the language that my dad, mémère, pépère and uncles grew up speaking, and I never want to forget how to speak French. It's a part of me now, and that's all because of French Immersion.”

Interested students and families are invited to attend an upcoming French Immersion information session:

French Immersion Information Session:
Date: Jan. 17, 2024
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Trinity Baptist Church
                 22550 Township Rd. 530, Sherwood Park, AB

New and returning students may apply to the French Immersion program during the registration process beginning in February. For key registration dates, see the EIPS Guide to Registration 2024-25. To determine your designated French Immersion school, visit


Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,750 students in 42 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.

French Immersion Programming in EIPS
French Immersion School Attendance Boundaries
Find My Designated School



For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902