French Language Studies


Dear Feeder School Families for Acton District School,

As you continue to gather information in order to make the best choices for your Grade 8 students transitioning to high school, we wanted to provide you with detailed information about the options available for the continuation of French language studies in secondary schools.

High school students have three French language programs to choose from and we hope that the information we are providing below will help you make an informed decision as your student transitions to secondary school.


Unless they are enrolled in Extended French or French Immersion, all elementary students take Core French. This might begin in your school in Grade 1 or in Grade 4, but regardless all Halton students complete elementary Core French with a minimum of 600 hours of French instruction. In order for students to earn their high school diploma, students need to take at least one Core French language credit at the secondary level.

Acton High School offers Core French at both the applied and academic levels for grade 9 students. Those wishing to continue their studies in the Core French program may also take French in grades 10 – 12. Our Core French program at Acton High School provides many opportunities for students to continue to develop their skills and interests in the French language and culture.


Extended French is a grades 7- 12 program whereby students must complete a minimum of 1260 hours of French by the end of Grade 8. In order to complete the Extended French graduation requirements, students need to take at least seven credits of Extended French at the high school level including 4 French Language Arts courses and a minimum of 3 other courses where the language of instruction is French.

Acton District School does not offer the Extended French program as it is not offered by our feeder schools.


French Immersion is a grades 1- 12 program whereby students must complete a minimum of 3800 hours of French by the end of Grade 8. In order to complete the French Immersion graduation requirements, students need to take at least ten credits of French Immersion at the high school level including 4 French Language Arts courses and a minimum of 6 other courses where the language of instruction is French.

French Immersion students receive a Halton Certificate of French Immersion Studies.

Acton High School offers an exceptional French Immersion program based on high standards, diverse experiences, and a focus on the celebration of the French culture. Our students study Science, History, Geography, Healthy Active Living, Careers and Civics and Social Science courses delivered entirely in French by dedicated and passionate professionals. Because our French Immersion model is designed such that students take most of their compulsory French credits in Grade 9 and 10, we ensure that students are able to maximize their choice of electives in their senior years (Grades 11 and 12) in order to best meet their post-secondary goals.


Do students with IEPs have to take Core French in high school?

Receiving an exemption from a graduation-requirement course may happen in consultation with principals and special education resource teachers only if there are significant Special Education needs directly related to course content or skills. All French programs are designed to support students with exceptionalities and teachers are highly trained to provide strategies and supports to ensure success for all students.

What should we be thinking about when deciding whether to take Academic or Applied level French?

A realistic view of the student’s work habits and ability is the first step. If your student is selecting applied level courses in other subject areas, then chances are that Applied French may be the best choice as well. The same is true when considering Academic French. Students do encounter challenges in both abilities and interests from time to time in all subject areas, and so Grade 8 students should consider their strengths, interests and pathway goals when selecting course levels. Your elementary teachers can also make recommendations.

How does Acton High School support French Immersion students as they pursue post-secondary or career pathways involving bilingual skills?

Having a high level of proficiency in French can open many doorways and provide multiple career opportunities for students in the future. The French Immersion program at Acton High School consists of the same skill expectations as the CEFR (Common European Framework for References of Language) as a way to foster the proficiency of our French Language learners. A French Immersion certificate would be a highlight of any resume.

We are thinking of continuing with Extended French rather than French Immersion. What additional information should we know when making this decision?

Some information to consider:

  • While both the French Immersion and Extended French programs generate a certificate upon graduation, the certificate delineates the intensity of the learning and the number of hours of French language instruction..

  • Certificates are provided in all boards

  • Students enrolled in Catholic boards may also be required to take additional religious education courses to meet their graduation requirements.

We are considering the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Georgetown District High School. What should we know?

The IB program is a regional program. Students complete both the Ontario curriculum and the standardized IB curriculum. IB officially occurs in grades 11 and 12 but students take pre-IB courses in grades 9 and 10. Because the IB program does not begin until Grade 11, students are welcome to come to Acton High to transition first into high school (in either English or FI) at their “home” school and confirm their subject area proficiencies before making the final decision about entering the IB program. Grade 9 and 10 students applying to the IB program are considered and accepted based upon a number of criteria: enrollment capacity, academic suitability, and completion of ​ISP Application Procedure​.