CCSD provides support to students in kindergarten to Grade 12 who have a first language other than English. The following are support options:
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. 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
CCSD offers programming and support for students identified as English Language Learners (ELL). 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
About the program
Through a board range of structured and unstructured activities, the ELL Preschool Program allows children to:
- Enhance communication and English skills
- Develop social and emotional skills
- Build confidence and interact with other children in a school setting
- Learn through play in small class size settings.
- Children must turn four years old on or before December 31 of the calendar year the child will begin preschool
- Children must have minimal or no English language skills
- Children must speak a home language that is not English
- Parents are responsible for transportation to and from the program
- Parents are required to attend all field trips.
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 Interpretation Service Overview.
If you are interested in becoming an interpreter with Calgary Catholic, please review the following documents:
Additional ELL Support
CCSD also 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.