We’re excited that so many families are interested in our Dual Language Program! As a two-way immersion program, we reserve equal number of spaces for native Spanish speakers and native English speakers in order to provide a balanced class. Classes also match the ratio of boys and girls found across the rest of the grade level.
We have revised our process for the 2020-2021 school year. Details are found here. Families are notified of lottery selection by mid-August (when all teacher assignments are available in Parent Portal).
Note that it is challenging, but not impossible, for a native English speaker to join our immersion classes in 3-5 on a space-available basis.
Before completing an Opt-out or Interest form, we want to be sure families are aware of this general information:
- The program goals are high academic achievement, bilingualism and biliteracy, and cross-cultural competence.
- 50% of all instruction occurs in Spanish across different core content areas (math, science, and social studies) as well as “specials” such as art and music. All students receive language arts instruction in both English and Spanish.
- Immersion classes do not “translate” or “repeat” content. Rather, lessons build on each other. Typically with one teacher who instructs in English and the other who instructs in Spanish, purposefully planning opportunities for students to compare the two languages.
- Students typically understand much more than they are able to express in their first two year -- this is called the “receptive” phase. Typically students start producing more of their second language in their third year -- this is called the “speech emergence” phase.
As with all classes at our school, we focus on the quality of instruction. This means that accommodations may be made to the program based on the number of highly-qualified bilingual teachers we are able to hire.
Students not selected for the immersion classes receive weekly Spanish instruction through our FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School) program. We are thankful for School Board support that allows every student at our school to begin learning a second language!