Cabrillo Unified School District administrators will decide in the coming weeks whether proposed changes to Cunha Intermediate School’s two-way bilingual immersion program will be implemented next school year.
Cunha and district officials have been meeting with parents to explain the potential new curriculum, which is intended to better align the middle school program with the best practices for dual immersion.
Since the 2013-14 school year, Cabrillo has been studying the effectiveness of its immersion program. A committee composed of district officials, teachers and others considered program structure, standardized test scores and other information and determined among several findings that Cunha’s current immersion curriculum is not optimum.
That’s because the Spanish classes, offered during the school’s “zero period,” are more akin to Spanish language courses. The goal of a two-way immersion program is for students to become biliterate by learning subject material in English and another language. Because of the current program setup, students who wish to be in Cunha’s immersion program take it as an elective, limiting their ability to take other elective courses. Native Spanish speakers who are required to take English Language Development also cannot be in the immersion program since that is also a zero period class.
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