The Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board plans on offering French Immersion at two more schools next fall.

WECDSB Trustees approved in principle a recommendation Tuesday to provide French Immersion in September of 2015 at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in River Canard and at the former St. Gregory Catholic Elementary School site in Tecumseh.

That would bring the board’s number of French Immersion elementary school locations to six.

There would be phased-in, single track French Immersion at the former St. Gregory school site and dual track French immersion at St. Joseph.

“Parents in these two areas have demonstrated overwhelming support for French immersion and we’re very happy to be able to provide it for them,” said board chair Barb Holland, in a news release. “We are currently running top-quality programs at other schools and based on our success there, we are well-positioned to expand French immersion at these new locations.”

The board currently has four elementary French Immersion sites in operation – St. Mary in Maidstone, Queen of Peace in Leamington, St. Anne in Windsor’s Walkerville district, and Christ the King in South Windsor.

In a recent survey, 120 responses in Tecumseh/Lakeshore indicated intent to enroll their children in French Immersion and 119 in Amherstburg/LaSalle said they intended to enroll. In Tecumseh/Lakeshore, 84 respondents said they had children between 0-5 years old, while 69 in Amherstburg/LaSalle said they had children in the same age bracket. In total, 771 people responded to the survey.

Director of Education Paul Picard says he believes expanded French Immersion at the schools will successfully meet the needs of both communities.

“With the recently announced great news about our financial surplus, we’re in an excellent position to provide quality French Immersion programming in a fiscally responsible manner,” Picard said. “The locations we’ve selected are perfect to accommodate this program as it grows with the existing cohort of students.”

A report with an implementation plan and financial data will be presented to the board in January 2015.