Welcome to Medicine Hat French Immersion Society!

Are you ready to play and learn?  Au Chapeau is a preschool designed to introduce 3 & 4 year olds to the French language through play, songs, stories, art activities and fun! We specialize in educational programs for preschool age children who are exposed to hearing, using and speaking french words as part of their daily activities, and would love to welcome you and your child as one of our students.


Fully licensed by the province of AB, our program is designed to introduce and increase French vocabulary as well as teaching the children many other wonderful things throughout the school year. Our program facilitates the transition into the French or English Kindergarten. Although Au Chapeau is not affiliated directly with Medicine Hat School District 76, we are able to offer their Early Childhood Intervention programs to our children (eg. speech therapy through them at no fee to our parents) and we are located on the top floor in Connaught School at 101 - 8 St. S.W.


We are very excited to welcome back Mme. Alicia Bigras as our lead teacher for the 2018-2019 school year. Aside from experience gained with children in elementary, preschool and voice/choir settings, Mme. Alicia also has personal experience with young children as she and her husband Jan have two young boys Nicholas - 6, and Carter - 3 (in 2018). She has a Bachelor degree in Education as well as a Bachelor of Music degree and her First Aid Certification. Mme. Alicia is a private vocal instructor at the Medicine Hat College as well as the conductor of the Children's Choir. She has developed and teaches "Here Comes Treble" a music program for children ages 2-6 at the Medicine Hat College. We are so excited for her to share the French language, her musical talents, and wonderful plans using many creative methods and materials so the children are able to both learn and socialize while having fun.


Joining Mme. Alicia is full-time aide Mme. Maureen Van Ieperen who has many years experience in the Au Chapeau classroom and holds a (level 1) Daycare Assistant Certificate along with a Food Safety Certificate, and First Aid Certification. She loves the daily interactions with the children and loves when she gets to have one on one conversations with them. Maureen and her husband Stephen have two daughters. Stephanie graduated from the Education program at MHC in the Spring of 2018, and Alexis is off to Australia for the year, continuing with University upon her return. Both are graduates of the French Immersion program at CHHS. Maureen strongly believes in the French Immersion program starting with preschool - Grade 12, and the success children can achieve whether French is spoken in the home or not.


Mme. Krystal Eirich, returning for her fifth year with Au Chapeau, has been an aide in the classroom working for School District 76 the past four years. She also holds a Daycare Assistant (level 1) certificate, First Aid Certification, along with attending many professional development workshops over the years. This year she will join Maureen as a second aide in the classroom part-time with Au Chapeau.   Mme. Krystal has a lot of experience working one on one with children but also has an amazing way of  incorportating inclusiveness into the learning process by bringing a few children together to socialize in a game together, or she will sit with a group and bring out their artistic and creative nature or work on fine motor skills with them. She has a caring, and fun nature that the children are drawn to. Mme. Krystal and her husband Jeremy have two sons in the French Immersion program going into grades 4 - Otto, and grade 8 - Maxx. 


There will be a third aide in the classroom present in all the morning classes, and employed with SD76. It is unknown at this time whom it will be and no confirmation as to whether this aide will also be present in the afternoon classes. We will introduce the aide when more information is available and what kind of roll/interaction with the children and in the classroom the aide will play.


Au Chapeau Preschool is a non-profit organization that is overseen by an Executive Board comprised of parents under the umbrella of the Medicine Hat French Immersion Society. All parents of registered children are also members of the Society and welcomed at meetings which will be announced through various means of communication.