What is French Immersion?

French Immersion is an inclusive program designed for students wishing to acquire French as an additional language. Learners are immersed in the French language in a diverse and engaging school environment.

French is acquired as a means of communication. At both École Cedardale and École Pauline Johnson French is the primary language of instruction. The French language is developed over time as learners move through their elementary and secondary school experience.

French Immersion learners share a sense of joy and connection, locally and globally, through unique cultural experiences.  As French speakers, learners develop a deeper understanding of and pride in our Canadian identity.

Why French Immersion?

Research shows that learning additional languages improves students’ cognitive abilities. Through the French Immersion experience, learners will:

  • develop French language skills;
  • work with staff from diverse backgrounds;
  • gain insight and understanding into French culture;
  • acquire skills that could lead to increased opportunities using French (one of Canada’s two official languages) in the workplace;
  • develop international mindedness;
  • develop a strong sense of identity and connection to a tightly knit community.

What is Early French Immersion?

West Vancouver Schools offers both Early (entry in Kindergarten) and Late French Immersion (entry in Grade 6) programs.  Early French Immersion (EFI) programs are available at both École Cedardale and École Pauline Johnson. Enrolment in Early French Immersion generally occurs at the Kindergarten level, although students may enter the program at the Grade 1 level until December, space permitting.

École Cedardale is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, offering the French Immersion Primary Years Programme (PYP). There is an associated fee with the IB PYP programme. Learn more about the IB PYP Programme at École Cedardale.

Applicants who wish to enroll in French Immersion are free to choose either one or both of the French Immersion schools. However, it is important to understand that if only one of the French Immersion schools is selected, the application will be considered for spaces at that school only. If you wish to be considered for placement at BOTH French Immersion schools, you must select both schools as two of your three prioritized school choices.

Due to the popularity of these programs of choice, applications for admission to EFI and EFI IB PYP are subject to a lottery process. Two separate lotteries will be held in early December each calendar year to determine placement offers.

A student may be included in both lotteries, provided both schools are selected as choices on the online application and provided that all required documentation is submitted to the first-choice school before the close of the lottery period.

Late French Immersion begins at Grade 6 and is offered at École Pauline Johnson Elementary. There is no Late French Immersion at Ecole Cedardale.

How to Apply for Early French Immersion 2022 – 2023

Kindergarten Admissions

Children enter Kindergarten in September of the calendar year in which they turn five years of age.

STEP 1 – Submit an online registration form

  • Applications for children born in the year 2016 who will enter Kindergarten in September 2021 will be available online BEGINNING AT 8 a.m. ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2021 AND CONTINUING UNTIL 3 p.m. ON TUESDAY NOVEMBER 30, 2021. Any applications received after that time will be accepted, but will not be included in the lottery process and will be handled according to the Student Regulation Guidelines.
  • All applications for student registration must be submitted online – CLICK HERE
  • Only those online applications where all supporting documentation has been received by the lottery deadline will be included in the lottery. No exceptions will be made.

STEP 2 – Submit GOOD-QUALITY PDF COPIES of required documentation by email to your first choice school (École Cedardale or École Pauline Johnson) per the instructions on the Admissions page of the individual school websites

All required student documentation must be provided to your FIRST CHOICE school following submission of your online registration form.

Please see the admissions area of the school sites to determine how to submit your documents:
École Cedardale
École Pauline-Johnson

École Cedardale
Tel: (604) 981-1390


École Pauline Johnson
Tel: (604) 981-1225

Due to the strong demand for these programs of choice, West Vancouver Schools will conduct two separate lotteries to identify those children who will be registered for French Immersion Kindergarten for the 2022 – 2023 school year at either École Cedardale or École Pauline Johnson.

The registration will follow Ministry guidelines and Board policy.

IMPORTANT: Only those applications that have all required documentation as of 3:00 pm on November 30, 2021 will be included in the lottery.

The 2022 – 2023 EFI and EFI PYP Lotteries will be held on December 6, 2021 and results will be communicated by email starting December 7, with all participants notified before the Winter Break.

Grade 1 – 7 Early French Immersion Admission / Registration:

Applications to register for grades 1 – 7 Early French Immersion are handled on a first-come, first-served basis according to the Student Registration Guidelines.

  • Applications for registration for grade 1-7 students living IN the West Vancouver Schools catchment area (West Vancouver, Lions Bay, or Bowen Island) may be submitted online, starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, October 15, 2021.
  • Applications for registration for grade 1 – 7 students living OUTSIDE West Vancouver may be submitted online, starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 17, 2022.
  • Only those applications where all supporting documentation has been submitted will be placed on the wait-list.
  • Placement occurs in the late spring, space permitting

PLEASE NOTE: Only students in grades 2 – 7 currently attending an Early French Immersion (EFI) program are eligible to apply for Early French Immersion in West Vancouver.

Grade 1 students not currently in EFI may apply, but due to the nature of the EFI environment and the cognitive academic language demands of the programs, students are only eligible to be placed before the Winter Break of their grade 1 year.

Late French Immersion (LFI) is available at École Pauline Johnson, beginning in grade 6.


What documentation is required for a Kindergarten application?

All online applications require that GOOD-QUALITY PDF COPIES of all documents be submitted by email to the office of your first choice school, according to the directions on the school websites.

Please click here for a list of required documents.


EFI and EFI PYP Kindergarten Placement Lotteries

Lotteries to determine placement in Early French Immersion Kindergarten at École Cedardale and École Pauline Johnson for the September 2022 entry will be held at West Vancouver School District offices.

The lotteries for September 2022 Kindergarten placement will take place on Monday, December 6, 2021 and all applicants will be advised by email of their lottery placement before schools close for the holidays on December 17, 2021.

All complete applications submitted between  October 15 – November 30, 2021 will be included in the lottery. Students will be included in both lotteries, provided that both schools are listed as prioritized choices on the online application.

Applicants will be notified of the results via email, beginning with in-district applicants, in the order in which they were drawn, as soon as possible after the conclusion of the lotteries. As outlined in Board Administrative Procedure 300 4.1, parents will be given 24 hours to make the decision to accept a position offered.

Registration will follow Ministry guidelines and Board policy.

Late French Immersion

We also offer a Late French Immersion (LFI) program at École Pauline Johnson that is designed for students wishing to have an immersion experience who have not attended the Early Immersion program. The entry for this program is Grade 6 and continues at the secondary school level. For information about LFI, please contact the principal of École Pauline Johnson at (604) 981-1225.