The Dual Language Immersion program was something the Alisal Union School District was trying to implement into its schools in the mid-1990s, but the experiment failed after signs showed no progress was being made by students.
However, the program was brought back to life this year at Monte Bella Elementary School and staff members want to show it can still work. The school is hosting a pair of information sessions on Thursday. The morning session is scheduled for 10 a.m., which includes a classroom visit followed by an evening session at 5:30 p.m.
“It really is an information meeting to inform any interested parents what this program is, as well as what it isn’t,” said Alisal Union School District Superintendent Dr. Hector Rico. “We’re not trying to sell this program to anyone. We want to make sure that it’s a good match for the participant so that the parent fully understands what the program is.” Rico, who was strongly supportive of the dual immersion program even after it was shutdown from 2004-05, said Alisal Union planned for several months to bring back the program into two separate kindergarten classes at Monte Bella.
The program was built to have classes taught 90 percent in Spanish and 10 percent in English. Then as the student moves on to the first grade, classes are taught 80 percent in Spanish and 20 percent in English until grades fourth through sixth, where the language is split down the middle at 50-50.
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