The intermediary classes are called “classes passerelles“ (“bridging classes). Students can stay there between one week and six months, with possible extension up to one year.
During that time, the student receives specific support to adapt to and integrate in the socio-cultural and education system (welcoming, insertion and guidance).
As soon as they are ready, students leave the bridging class to make room for new students and go to an ordinary class.
Besides integration, it is also centred on intensive learning of the French language for those who do not master it enough, and adapted updating (history, geography, mathematics, sciences), so that the students can enter the appropriate level as soon as possible.
The timetable is adapted to the students’ needs. However, this programme cannot have less than 15 hours dedicated to human sciences (including French) and less than 8 hours for science and mathematics.
The organisation is very flexible. The school receives from the Ministry of Education additional means (hours, teachers) it can use as it wishes. However, it has to inform the Ministry on the action carried out.
The Ministry provides educational support to the teachers involved (creating points of reference regarding the learning steps for the students whose mother tongue is not French).
It also organises training and information sessions, in collaboration with welcome centres and the Red Cross, for the educational teams of the schools involved (headmaster, teachers, educators, coordinators ...).
Thanks to the DASPA’s the schools that receive many students of foreign origin can continue their educational mission with these students.
Such initiatives must exist in other countries. For instance, France has developed “classe-accueil” (“welcome classes”) that work like our “bridging classes”.
The DASPA’s success is ever-increasing since its creation in 2001.
For the school year 2012-2013, in order to better meet field realities, the system was reinforced: funding for more than 70 measures and improved functioning.
For the school year 2013-2014, 35 measures are funded in primary schools and 36 in secondary schools: