Dare County Schools Explore Spanish Dual Language Classrooms for 2018-19!
Dare County Schools Explore Spanish Dual Language Classrooms for 2018-19!
Posted on 02/18/2018
duallanguageDare County Schools is exploring the possibility of offering Spanish Language Immersion classes for rising kindergarten and first-grade students for the 2018-19 school year. 

"The opportunity will be offered to all five elementary schools, and parent interest will determine which schools get the program," said Dare County Superintendent John Farrelly.

Dual language immersion provides an attractive, innovative option for any school seeking to increase enrollment, close the achievement gap, reach underachieving subgroups and develop global-ready young leaders. Children who learn in two languages benefit from high academic achievement, language proficiency, increased critical thinking skills, increased cognitive development and higher cultural sensitivity, according to recent studies. 

If parents show enough interest, the district will partner with the North Carolina based language immersion company, Participate. Built on more than 25 years of supporting language instruction and substantial experience in implementation and support of dual language programs, Participate provides a comprehensive, turnkey framework for North Carolina schools and districts to develop and maintain consistent, high-quality K-8 language programs. Participate supports language immersion teachers with tools to promote academic achievement through academic enrichment, which enables students to excel in their core studies while becoming bilingual and culturally aware. 

Students that enroll in the program in kindergarten will remain in the language classes until at least fifth grade. "If we go down this road, the district will commit to sustaining these classes," Farrelly emphasized. 

Dare County Elementary Education Director, Sandy Kinzel spoke of the program, "It is quite amazing. From day one of kindergarten, students spend a majority of their day immersed in Spanish. By the end of kindergarten and the start of first grade, students are speaking fluently in both Spanish and English." 

Research has shown that students enrolled in language immersion programs outperform their peers at astonishing rates on reading and math assessments. 

The program is open to native English, and Spanish speakers and parents are not required to know Spanish. 

The district is committing to embrace the language program and ensure the success of the students. "We are exploring the option of offering free introductory Spanish classes to any teacher, parent/guardian or grandparent that would like to attend," said Farrelly. 

Parents/Guardians of rising kindergarten and first-grade students are invited to attend informational sessions being held at each elementary school from 5:30-6:30 p.m:

February 26, 2018: Manteo Elementary School
February 28, 2018: Kitty Hawk Elementary School
March 1, 2018: Cape Hatteras Elementary School
March 7, 2018: Nags Head Elementary School
March 8, 2018: First Flight Elementary School

More information on the program can be found here: 
Participate Dual Language Company
Dual Language Presentation
Research on Effectiveness of Dual Language Programs
Dual Language Parent Brochure
Frequently Asked Questions
Video: Learn about Spanish Dual Language Teachers
Video: Classroom Instruction in a Dual Language Program
DCS Parent Meeting Flyer: English Version
DCS Parent Meeting Flyer: Spanish Version