French Immersion Program

A French Immersion Program began in the Milton Public School System at the Mary A. Cunningham Elementary School in 1987 with two classes in grade one. One of Laura Cahill’s daughters was in the first French Immersion class started in 1987.  Each year, a new grade with two or three classes was added at the Cunningham School. In 1991, a first grade class began at the Glover Elementary School.  In 1992, a first grade class was added to both the Tucker and the Collicot.  Since 1992, all four elementary schools have added at least one class per grade level each year as the program expanded into the middle school and the high school.

As of September 2008, 61 classes in grades 1-12 in the French Immersion program. The Cunningham school has eight classes in grades 1-5 for a total of 171 students.  Collicot has six classes with 132 students. Glover has 10 classes with 216 students. Tucker has five classes for a total of 94 students.

In June 1998, the first French Immersion students graduated from Milton High School. Since 1998, many students from the French Immersion program have been the top ranking student in the graduating class with a large percentage of French Immersion students in the top 20% of the class.

Curriculum

The curriculum for the French Immersion Program is based on the guidelines of the Milton Public School
Curriculum and the Curriculum Frameworks of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Art, music, and physical education are taught in English at all levels.

Instruction by the grade for the program are:

Grades 1 & 2: 100%  in French for language arts, math, science, and social studies.

Grades 3 &4: 50% of the total instructional time is in French and 50% is in English.  Social studies and science are instructed in French. Math is taught in English. The language arts curriculum which includes comprehension, silent and oral reading, handwriting, spelling, creative writing, grammar and vocabulary, is taught both in French and English, each for one half of the instructional time allotted to language arts.
Students in French Immersion and English are integrated for Math classes daily in all four schools. Two schools also mix English and French students for some Language Arts instruction.

Grade 5: 30% of the instruction is in French and 70% is in English. Science and a portion of language arts are taught in French. Math and social studies are taught in English.

Grade 6: French Immersion students continue their instruction in French language arts for one period
per day and social studies in French for one period per day.

Grades 7 & 8: French Immersion students study French language and literature for one period per day and are enrolled in a class in culture/humanities, taught in French, once every other day. Although taught in the elective block, the second French class is a requirement for students who wish to take the full range of immersion classes available at the high school.  Students who do not to take the social studies/humanities classes taught at the Pierce during their three years at the Middle school may be evaluated to determine their placement in French classes at the high school. Students who do not take all the language courses offered at the middle school could be recommended to take French as a Second Language courses or French Immersion level A instead of French Immersion Honors and Advanced Placement Language and Literature at the high school.
Grades 9-12:  Students in the Immersion program may take at least one class in French per day. French Immersion students may also complete courses in Advanced Placement Language and Advanced Placement Literature in grades eleven and twelve. They may also choose an additional language beginning in grade nine, thereby giving them the opportunity to take additional Advanced Placement classes in Spanish or Latin in their junior and/or senior year.

Instruction

There are 36 instructors who teach in our French-Immersion Program. Our instructors are French, French Canadian, Canadian, Cape Verdian, African, Russian, Vietnamese, American with French ancestry, and Americans who majored in French in college. Immersion teachers are fluent speakers of the language and must be certified or certifiable on the level in which they teach. All of our books and materials come from France, Canada, and the United States. Many of our materials are created by teachers and shared with others who teach the same level at the other schools.

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