French language programs at the WRDSB begin in Grade 1. To find out more about the French program pathways and learning opportunities for students, visit our website: and watch our presentation.

Core French – no application required

Core French is taught to all students in our elementary and secondary schools as part of the regular Ontario curriculum. Students learn the French language by speaking, reading and writing. Students are automatically enrolled in Core French starting in Grade 1 unless they are registered for French Immersion. Students in Core French will receive between 120 and 150 minutes of French instruction per week.

French Immersion – application required

Students enrolled in French Immersion spend 50 per cent of their day learning in French. In Grades 1 through 6, subjects taught in French are French language, Math, Social Studies and Visual Arts, Music or Physical Education. In Grades 7 and 8, the subjects taught in French are French language, Geography, History, Visual Arts and Health and Physical Education. If your child completes French Immersion from Grades 1 through 8, they will be able to continue their French pathway in selected high schools.

Who is eligible to apply for Grade 1 French Immersion?

All children born in 2015 are invited to apply.

How do I apply for French Immersion?

You can apply online at Applications for the program are accepted from January 6, 2021, to January 31, 2020 (Phase 1). Mark your calendar!

If I apply, am I guaranteed a spot? 

No; the Waterloo Region District School Board does not guarantee anyone a spot in Grade 1 French Immersion. In cases where demand for a Grade 1 French Immersion program exceeds our capacity to offer the program, we use a lottery system to determine which students are accepted into the program.

By using a lottery system, we can establish Grade 1 French Immersion classes, with preference given to home school students who apply before January 31. Students who live within the boundary of the neighbourhood school (determined by your home address), or who have an older sibling attending a French Immersion school, are considered “home school” students when applying for Grade 1 French Immersion. Students in these situations have priority for entry into a Grade 1 French Immersion class if they apply by January 31 (Phase 1). All applications after February 1 are processed on a first-come, first-served basis (Phase 2).

Which school will my child attend?

There are no attendance boundaries for French Immersion. To find out which schools offer French Immersion at the WRDSB, visit If your home school offers French Immersion, we will try and place your child there first. You may also select two additional schools on your application. If your home school does not currently offer French Immersion, you may select two other schools on your application.  

When there is enough interest, there is physical space available, and the WRDSB has enough French-qualified staff, any school may be considered as a possible site for the French Immersion program. The decision to expand into other schools is made by the end of March for the following school year. Please note that these are just some of the factors staff consider when determining which schools will offer an Immersion program.

If my child is accepted into the French Immersion program, can my other children attend the same school even if it is not their ‘home school’?


Transportation – are French Immersion students eligible?

The distance guidelines used to determine eligibility in the WRDSB’s transportation policy applies to students attending their home school for the French Immersion program. Transportation to an out of boundary school for French Immersion is not provided.

When will we know if our child has a spot in the program?

Families will be notified in early March if they have secured a spot in the program. Once a child has been accepted into the program, their spot will be guaranteed for 2 weeks during which time families must click on the link sent to your email that you are accepting the placement. If the child is not already attending the school, you must complete any student registration or transfer paperwork provided by the WRDSB. If families decline their spot, students from the waiting list will be contacted to fill those vacancies. 

 Where to find more information about French programs

  1. General Information about French programs:
  2. How to apply for Grade 1 French Immersion:
  3. Schools that have French Immersion:
  4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

If you have questions that have not been answered by the information on our website, please contact the Planning Department and Learning Support Services at