- BSD Superintendent Yaw Obeng (right) with French Consul General Arnaud Mentré and K-12 Education Officer Edit Dibra
The Burlington School District has announced that it will partner with the Embassy of France to explore offering dual-language french immersion programming in Burlington schools. Why was Burlington chosen? The city's "proximity to Québec and the prevalence of French in this region certainly played a role," said district communication specialist Russ Elek. Burlington schools are also known for innovative programming and strong language instruction, as there are more than 40 languages spoken in the district, Elek added. Through the partnership, the embassy will help recruit instructors and provide grant money to help finance French instruction certification and program start-up costs. Superintendent Yaw Obeng said that promoting authentic language programs is a goal of the district because they have been shown to narrow the achievement gap, increase academic outcomes and reduce dropout rates. Though there is no official timeline for the program yet, "the next step is for us to work together to identify and establish a strong pipeline of quality instructors," said Obeng. After that, the district will solicit input from community and staff members so that a program can be designed to best meet the needs of Burlington students.