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This article was published 29/11/2015 (545 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Seven Oaks School Division wants to hear from parents who would like to enrol their kids in Ojibwe, Cree or Michif immersion classes next September.
And it may be time to take a serious look at introducing Tagalog immersion to the curriculum, Seven Oaks superintendent Brian O’Leary said.
"We’ve had some indication from parents that they’d like to see" indigenous language programming, O’Leary said in an interview. The survey is an initial step that could lead to a budget recommendation, he said.
The survey, which can be found at http://www.7oaks.org/Pages/Indigenous-Language-Program.aspx, asks parents if they have interest in enrolling their children in possible indigenous immersion programs for kindergarten through Grade 3 next September.
"We’ve had significant take-up of after-school heritage language programs," O’Leary said.
It’s time now to look at offering immersion during regular class hours, he said.
Seven Oaks still has strong Ukrainian programs available, but is phasing out Hebrew because of a demographic shift of Jewish families to the south end of the city.
The division has both teachers and educational assistants capable of teaching indigenous languages, he said.
Meanwhile, "We’ve had some interest from the Filipino community. We’ve got lots of second and third-generation Filipino kids here" whose parents don’t want them to lose their language.
In both indigenous languages and Tagalog, O’Leary said, "Our assumption is there would be significant take-up. Especially after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report (on residential schools), we’re seeing indigenous communities trying to reclaim their language and heritage."
Once Seven Oaks gauges interest, he said, it can begin identifying schools in the areas of high interest, and figuring out space requirements. Most likely, he said, many kids whose families would want language immersion would already be enrolled in those schools that would be used.