In recent weeks, the Milton School Committee has increased discussion of adapting the lottery system or capping the district’s grade one French Immersion enrollment to address an imbalance with the English program.
Since the 2008-2009 school year, an increased number of students have enrolled in the French Immersion program in the Milton Public Schools over the English with Spanish program.
According to an Elementary Program Assignment presentation, posted on miltonps.org, 54 percent of students enrolled in the French program in 2011-2012. The projected numbers for the upcoming school year indicate 66 percent French and 34 percent English enrollment.
According to the district, this has created larger French classes and smaller ones on the English side in the four elementary schools. This year, English classes will average 14.9 students with 25.1 students in each French class.
In 2010, a World Language Committee was established to address the enrollment trends.
As of 2010, a fixed number of French and English classes were set for each school. A lottery system was set up to fill those classes and auxiliary classes were created to accommodate choices for students.
The alternative plan, which was recently endorsed by Superintendent Mary Gormley for the future, suggested a cap on the number of French Immersion students.
The following is Gormley’s recommendation per the presentation: “In order to continue to offer two robust programs for Milton Public School students the district should adapt the current Lottery system and implement a “Lottery/ Capping” model as developed by the 2010 World Language Committee to ensure a quality educational environment for all children through balanced program enrollment.”
The School Committee is continuing to gather public input and data to make a decision at a future meeting.
A Frequently Asked Questions page has been established on the Milton Public Schools' website for the administration to address concerns and questions.
How do you feel about the potential cap on French Immersion? Do you have an alternative solution? Are there other ways to adapt the lottery system?