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GFW Board hears presentation on Dual Language Immersion

by Doug Hanson
The GFW School Board heard the first of a few presentations on Dual Language Immersion (DLI) in the school. Dr. Amy Young of the Minnesota Department of Education was present at the meeting to discuss the three pillars of DLI.
The three pillars are Bilingualism & Bititeracy; High Academic Achievement and Sociocultural Competence. Young stated that Dual Language will help to reduce or eliminate achievement gaps. The procedure will be to add on a language so students will be speaking English and Spanish. There are 112 programs like the one presented in the State.
GFW is considering a 50/50 program, meaning half the day will be in English and half the day in Spanish. The administration is suggesting that this starts in kindergarten, so that a small group of students would have access to a Spanish/English DLI learning experience. Parents would have a choice of whether to have their child in a DLI classroom or a regular English classroom.
The program then would increase to first grade next year, etc. Superintendent Jeff Horton stated that there will still be two sections of regular kindergarten, plus this DLI section.
Board Director Drew Schmidt ask if the administration had any idea on how many students would be interested in a program like this.
Elementary Principal Jennifer Thompson stated that the goal was to first let all the staff know in the elementary and give the presentations to the Board. Then with Kindergarten Roundup coming in a few weeks, parents will hear about the program. She added that she knows of some parents that are interested.
The Board is expected to hear another presentation in March.

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