Lafayette School Board to consider making Myrtle Place Elementary the district’s flagship French immersion school _lowres

Advocate file photo by BRYAN TUCK. -- A sign in front of Myrtle Place Elementary in Lafayette announces it as a French Language Immersion School. French immersion classes previously at S.J. Montgomery Elementary will move to Myrtle Place in the upcoming school year.

The Lafayette Parish School System announced Friday that some foreign immersion programs at Alice Boucher and S.J. Montgomery Elementary schools will move to other schools in the coming school year.

Chinese immersion classes offered at Boucher will move to Plantation Elementary and French immersion offered at S.J. Montgomery will move to Myrtle Place Elementary, which is an existing French immersion school, school officials said Friday.

The immersion options are offered as part of the district’s schools of choice programs which offer students the opportunity to choose a specialized study area. Options range from foreign language immersion to business and finance and environmental sciences. French immersion is the district’s largest schools of choice option and classes are offered at several schools across the parish. Boucher was the only site of the Chinese immersion option.

Parents received prior notice of the changes and transportation will be provided to students to their new schools should they decide to remain in their immersion programs, said Nicole Boudreaux, the district’s world language specialist.

Low enrollment at both sites prompted the district to move the classes to different locations, Boudreaux said.

A total of 44 students attend Chinese immersion at Boucher in kindergarten through fourth grade. Class sizes include six students in both third and fourth grades; nine in second; 11 in first; and 12 in kindergarten. Boudreaux said in the upcoming school year, kindergarten students zoned for Plantation will have priority to fill any empty spots in the Chinese immersion program before seats are made available to other students. If seats are available, the application period will open on June 1.

Consolidating French immersion to Myrtle Place, which is about 2 miles from S.J. Montgomery, will save one teaching position and help balance class sizes, Boudreaux said. A total of 41 French immersion students attend classes at S.J. Montgomery in kindergarten through third grade, with no students enrolled in the second grade, Boudreaux said.

Transportation for the S.J. Montgomery students is also being worked out, she said.