All Ontario public school students learn French. Learning an additional language enhances cognitive development, teaches understanding, encourages patience, and fosters open-mindedness.

In the Waterloo Region District School Board, we are proud to offer two pathways for students to learn French or develop their French language proficiency.  All students can access French-Language programs through the Core French and French Immersion programs.

Learn more about our French program options.

Upcoming Changes to French Program Delivery

The WRDSB is transitioning to a Grade 2 entry point for French Immersion. Starting in September 2023, all students will automatically enroll in Core French for Grade 1 (no Grade 1 French Immersion offered in the 2023/2024 school year). The Grade 2 French Immersion entry point begins in September 2024. The WRDSB will accept Grade 2 French Immersion applications in the Winter of 2024 (for students born in 2017).

As a result, all French Immersion students will transition to 58% French instruction in Grades 2 through 6 and 50% French instruction in Grades 7 and 8. Furthermore, Language Arts, Science and Mathematics will be taught in English. All Grade 1 Core French students will receive double the amount of French instruction (16%). Core French instruction will remain at 8% in Grades 2 through 8.

Please note that the Grade 2 French Immersion entry point will only be offered for students born in 2017 or after. We will not accept students into French Immersion who were born in 2016 or earlier after October 3, 2022 (Grade 1).

Learn more about the changes on the French Program Review page.

Vision Statement

All students in the WRDSB have equitable access to a sustainable, high-quality French as a Second Language program of choice (Core French, Extended French or French Immersion), including supports that meet their needs. Each program will serve as a bridge between languages and cultures, building students’ confidence and ability to use French effectively in their daily lives.


  • Increase student confidence, proficiency, and achievement in all French as a Second Language programs
  • Increase access to quality core French and French Immersion for equity-seeking groups
  • Increase student, educator, caregiver, and community engagement in French as a Second Language

Guiding Principles

  • French as a Second Language programs are for all students
  • Policies and procedures actively disrupt and discourage streaming in order to reduce harm
  • Pedagogy reflects high standards and current evidence-based practices
  • Special Education and Multilingual Learners’ supports are equitably provided
  • French as a Second Language program options are communicated, informed decisions
  • Sustainable from a budgetary and staffing perspective