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Milton School Committee approves French Immersion Program cap, lottery

Posted by Natalie Feulner  October 17, 2012 09:43 PM

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The Milton School Committee unanimously approved a proposal Wednesday that will cap the district's French Immersion Program and create a lottery system, starting with the 2013-14 school year.

The proposal does not provide lottery preference to students with brothers or sisters already in the program.

The decision came a day after several hundred parents and residents filled the high school auditorium to express concerns and support for the cap and lottery.

Still, about 50 residents and parents attended the meeting Wednesday and many offered comments on both sides of the issue prior to the vote.

The proposal was first presented to the committee Oct. 3 after administrators realized that the increased interest in French hurt the English programs that must have a minimum of 18 students.

The cap allows for a maximum of 182 French Immersion students with seven classes of 26 students apiece. The lottery then goes into effect if English classes do not have a minimum of 18 students.

School Committee members all expressed sympathy for families impacted by the lack of sibling preference, but they ultimately decided that the need for a cap outweighed any concerns about siblings being in different programs.

"This is the only way, while still maintaining the option for French to move the system forward," committee member Kelly said.

Natalie Feulner can be reached at natalie.feulner@gmail.com.

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