Toronto

Registration now open at Toronto's first multi-language elementary school

Parents are now able to register their children at the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s new multi-language elementary school. St. René Goupil Catholic School in Scarborough will offer instruction in French as well specific subjects and other parts of the curriculum in Spanish, Mandarin and English.

St. René Goupil Catholic School in Scarborough offers curriculum in French, Mandarin, English and Spanish

St. René Goupil Catholic School in Scarborough will become what the TCDSB says is Ontario's first multi-language school. Classes begin in September. (Google)

Parents are now able to register their children at the Toronto Catholic District School Board's new multi-language elementary school.

St. René Goupil Catholic School in Scarborough will offer instruction in French, as well specific subjects and other parts of the curriculum in Spanish, Mandarin and English.

The multi-language school is the first of its kind at the TCDSB and, according to the board, the only such school in Ontario.

"It just makes sense," trustee Michael Del Grande, who first proposed the idea for the school in 2015, said in an interview.

"When you go to other parts of the world people learn English automatically and a number of other languages as well."

Del Grande says multi-lingualism should be more of a priority for educators in a city as diverse as Toronto. He points to Europe, where it's more common for students to have at least a basic understanding of and fluency in several languages.

"We're way behind," the trustee said.

Del Grande also hopes this will boost enrolment at St. René Goupil. The multi-language program was originally planned to launch at a previously closed TCDSB school, but was moved St. René Goupil out of cost concerns.

Parents of children eligible to start full-day kindergarten or grade one in September may now register online at the TCDSB's website.

On Wednesday, it was still too early to tell how many students have registered, but the board says there is plenty of interest.

"We expect to have a significant response from the community," TCDSB spokesperson John Yan said on Wednesday, adding that an earlier survey found "overwhelming" enthusiasm from parents.

Enrolment has been capped at 75 students.

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