My daughter is in the French Immersion program. Her year in 3rd grade was stellar. Mme. Sawadogo is a wonderful teacher who really cares and takes the time to nurture students. She deserves many awards for all the students she has helped in progressing through not just French, but math, science, and reading. Our experience has been good with the school, and the principal has addressed my concerns successfully. I can't speak for the general English curriculum, however. Also parents need to make sure that their kids are prepared for the rigor of learning a foreign language full-immersion style. Most kids in the immersion program has at least 1 French speaking parent. Many kids get scared and intimidated by the program, and just because it is a special County program parents rush to put their kids in the lottery. But all in all, we have had a good experience with the school from kindergarten.
After 2 1/2 years, we took the decision to transfer our daughter from the french immersion program. She was getting behind and her room teacher did not help at all, all the opposite she made my daughter and us think was my daughter fault, later we found out, half of her second grade class was taking private tutoring, because kids in general did not understand well this teacher, not her accent but the way she communicates. We brought issue to principal office and their attitude was even worse. We contacted the county education department, they have what is called parents-school mediator and did not help much, but we were not the first parents contacting them for the same issue. 3 kids dropped from this particular class in one year and the problem with this teacher has been for years and nobody does anything!! Several of the parents that decide to transfer their kids to other schools are French native speakers, which speaks volumes about this big problem this program has.
My daughter was in French immersion for two years many years ago and now our neighbor's son is attending the program with the same teacher. At the time Madame Lomis told us that the program was not good for my daughter because she was struggling with sorting out words. Six years later my neighbor is also being told that the program is not for them because of sotings words. I looked that the work he had and I saw the exact things that that my daughter was having difficulty in first grade. At the time we were told teachers make their curriculum. For a program with such good reputation this is very disappointing.
Maryvale Elementary School has a great French Program. It also conducts activities that are great for the community; they conduct a yearly event to raise funds for the school where they have silent auctions, rides, games, food and entertainment.
The school has some problems, but the French Immersion program is excellent. Mr. Sy is amazing teacher, my son loves him and everything about French and French culture. It is wonderful for students to be exposed to kids and teachers from all around the world. PTA is very active.
My daughter is doing very well in the French Immersion program. We are amazed at how quickly she has learned to speak, read and write in French, and she really enjoys school. Her teachers have been great so far- very dedicated and creative. The art teacher at the school is very good too.