An informational meeting for parents and the community on the Cleburne ISD Two-Way Dual Language program available to kindergarten students enrolling for the 2020-21 school year will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 27 at CISD Central Offices, 505 N. Ridgeway Drive.
Available exclusively at Irving Elementary School, this is the third year CISD has offered the bi-literacy program to kindergartners with English or Spanish as their home languages.
Since its introduction in 2017-18, the program now extends to the third grade, with participants receiving instruction in the core subjects in both languages, based on a 50/50 daily immersion formula.
“In our Two-Way Dual Language initiative, we have native English speakers and native Spanish speakers in the same classroom, learning both languages from their teacher and each other,” CISD World Languages Director Christy Burton said. “Over the course of the school year our Two-Way students will have learned, in both English and Spanish, all that is taught in their grade level core subjects--reading, English, math, science and social studies.
“As these students progress through the grade levels, their literacy skills are monitored to ensure that they are on or above grade level in their native language reading and writing skills. The students who began Two-Way Dual Language in kindergarten are now in third grade and are flourishing in their academic skills as bilingual learners and speakers.”
The Two-Way Dual Language program will ultimately expand to the fifth grade as participants promote to the next grade level.
Burton said the ultimate goal is to have the Dual Language students enter the Advanced Spanish program offered in middle school.
Lindsey Hines plans to have her son continue with Two-Way Dual Language as he moves into first grade. She said her kindergarten son, Jake, is progressing in learning, including Spanish as his second language.
“I’m really pleased with the progress he is making,” Hines said. “He can count up to 60 in Spanish. Being in Two-Way Dual Language has been challenging, and he has enjoyed being challenged. He’s learning things I couldn’t have taught him at home.
“We have plans to keep him in the Dual Language program,” she said. “Jake has a little brother who is excited to be in Mrs. (Diana) Lozano’s class in two years when he starts kindergarten.”
In every other country in the world, students learn in more than one language, Burton said.
“Being bi-literate is a very important skill in today’s global society,” Burton said. “We are very excited about the success we have seen in our students who are enrolled in the Two-Way program, and the interest we have seen from our parents. We’ve had to conduct a lottery each year since the program was introduced as the number of applications have exceeded the number of available spaces.”
The application process for the Two-Way Dual Language program will open immediately following the parent meeting. Online registration will also be available on the CISD website. Information on the meeting is being sent home with elementary students through backpack mail.