St. John Reception Centre
Students who were born outside of Canada and whose family have immigrated to Canada or are here on a valid work permit, would need to go to the St. John Reception Centre prior to enrolling at their local school. The St. John Reception Centre is located at 15-12 Street NW and the phone number is 403-500-2007. Students whose first language is not English may be required to complete an English language proficiency assessment. Families will be interviewed in order to collect information regarding their child’s learning. District interpreter services for this appointment are available upon request at no cost to the family. Please indicate if you require an interpreter when booking your appointment. The new student(s) and a legal guardian must attend the intake appointment.
Programming for English Language Learning
Research describes two kinds of English skills that children learn. It takes approximately 2+ years to learn their Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) also described as conversational or social language skills. It takes approximately 5-7+ years to develop their Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) or their academic, subject specific language which includes ways of thinking, talking and writing in all subject areas.
We offer programming and support for students identified as English Language Learners. Programming for ELL students is based on the student’s English language proficiency benchmark level as determined by the ESL Alberta Benchmark Proficiency Levels.The focus is on the development and demonstration of the English language as well as acquiring necessary academic language proficiency skills. Subject content is adjusted based on the ESL proficiency levels of English Language Learners. A supportive language learning environment provides visuals such as pictures, charts or graphic organizers, opportunities to work with a partner or small group, providing assignment options, different materials or technology tools and language mini-lessons.
English Language Learning Preschool Program
CCSD offers a preschool program for children who have minimal or limited English language skills in 12 of our schools. To enter the program, children must be between the ages of three and a half to four and a half years of age as of September 1. Parents are responsible for transporting their children to and from the preschool program. For more information, call 403-500-2487 or read more here: ELL Preschool Poster
Through a broad range of structured and unstructured activities, the preschool program allows young children and parents to:
- Increase their communication and English language skills
- Develop social and emotional skills
- Build confidence and interact with other children in a school setting
- Learn through play in small class settings
- Promote and value the importance of first languages.
Working with Young Children who are learning English as a New Language
Interpreter services are provided to support effective communication between schools and families. CCSD has more than 125 interpreters who provide interpretation support in 58 languages. There is no cost for language interpretation services. If you require an interpreter for a meeting at your child’s school or for parent/teacher conferences, ask a staff member in your child’s school to request a language interpreter on your behalf. Please review the following document:
Interpretation Service Overview
If you are interested in becoming an interpreter with Calgary Catholic, please review the following documents:
Becoming an Interpreter with CCSD
Interpreter Training Application Form
English Language Learner Support:
Calgary Catholic partners with various agencies can provide support to families who have immigrated to Canada and are in need of additional services to make a smooth transition to life in Canada.
In-School Settlement Program (ISSP)
ISSP is a partnership with The Calgary Catholic School District, Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth. The program helps immigrant families with settlement needs. After newcomers register for school at the St. John Reception Centre, they receive assistance by the In-school settlement workers as they welcome them (often in their home language), answer any questions the family may have, address immediate basic needs, and refer them to further settlement support services that are available regarding government, education, community, social and cultural needs.
Intercultural Wellness Program (ICW)
ICW provides easily accessible services for immigrant students who may be experiencing difficulties such as isolation, trauma (past or present), separation/reunification or other emotional stressors. The Family Liaison Support worker provides support to students and their families in accessing culturally appropriate interventions. To access this service, please contact your school.
Multicultural Support Team (MCS)
CCSD and Catholic Family Service have a partnership to increase successful integration into the Canadian classroom and Canadian culture. The Multicultural worker works with students and their families to build cultural capacity through a process that helps them to gain a deeper understanding of the Canadian culture while celebrating and integrating their own culture. The Multicultural worker serves as a conduit between the schools and cultural communities to increase understanding and collaboration and provide support to families as they experience new cultural and social expectations. To access this service, please contact your school.