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Dual Language Immersion Welcomes Kindergarten and First Grade Applicants for 2020-2021

Families interested in applying to the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program for incoming Kindergarten and First Grade students are invited to attend an information session on December 10th, at 7:00 PM at Community Park School.  DLI Applications will be provided; these applications should be brought when registering your child for Kindergarten. 

Additional information sessions will be scheduled as needed.  Please check this site or contact the Community Park main office at 609-806-4230 for January dates.

Applications for the 2020-2021 school year will be accepted throughout Summer 2020.

 

DLI Program at Community Park School

In the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program at Community Park School, students in Kindergarten through 5th grade spend approximately 50 percent of their core academic day learning in Spanish and the other 50 percent learning in English. This means every DLI student has two main teachers, one for English instruction and one for Spanish. In our program, students learn math, science, and Spanish language arts in Spanish, and language arts and social studies in English. Specials, such as physical education, music, or library, are taught in English. 

This 50-50 model allows students to maintain proficiency in their native language while adding a second language. Shortly after the start of the school year, students will speak only in Spanish during the Spanish class and only in English during the English portion of the day. At the completion of elementary school, students will be on their way to becoming biliterate and bilingual in both Spanish and English. Research has shown that this DLI model is highly successful at teaching grade-level content while developing impressive levels of language proficiency in students.

Compelling research from the past 30 years shows that DLI programs can produce important benefits for all students including:

  • Enhanced Cognitive Skills as students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility and demonstrate increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem-solving skills.
  • Improved Academic Performance as students perform as well as or better than non-immersion students on standardized tests of English and mathematics.
  • Minimizing of the Achievement Gap as students respond to the cognitive demands of learning content in two different languages they develop enhanced cognitive skills that benefit them throughout their K-12 academic experience.
  • Higher Second Language Proficiency as students achieve higher levels of second language proficiency they graduate from high school “bilingual” and “bi-literate”.
  • Enhanced Global Citizenship as students are better prepared to collaborate, communicate and problem solve across linguistic and political boundaries. They also exhibit more positive attitudes toward other peoples and other culture. 

Why did the district choose Spanish for the DLI program?

With over 330 million speakers globally, Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and is the official language of 44 countries. Spanish is a good springboard for learning other Romance languages, including Portuguese, Italian, and French, with little difficulty. Locally, we have district staff and community members who speak Spanish.

Who can apply to the Dual Language Immersion program at Community Park for 2020-2021?

We welcome all district students to our program!  Any PPS student (Johnson Park, Riverside, Littlebrook and Community Park) who is scheduled to start Kindergarten or Grade 1 in September 2020 can apply. The district will provide bus transportation for every child who lives beyond walking distance and wants to come to Community Park for the immersion program. If a student in an older grade is transferring from another DLI program or speaks Spanish proficiently, they may be able to enroll in the DLI program if there are spots available. The program is open to students who are fluent in Spanish and/or English as well as to students who are fluent in neither English nor Spanish. Students will be assessed to determine if the program is a match for them. For instance, if Japanese is your native language you can still apply to the immersion program.

How do I apply?

A parent information session will be held on December 10th, 2019 at Community Park School.  Applications will be distributed at the conclusion of the parent information session.  Applications should be submitted with your registration paperwork at the district-wide kindergarten registration period, February 5, 6 & 7, 2020.  Additional information sessions will be added as needed.  For additional information, please contact the Community Park School Main Office at 609-806-4230 or email christinetollefsen@princetonk12.org.

Can my child enter the immersion program in second, third, fourth or fifth grades?

A student fluent in Spanish and English who has participated in an immersion program in another district and is new to Princeton can apply to the Community Park immersion program. However, in general, we accept new students in Kindergarten and in the fall of Grade 1.

 What kind of parent-family commitment is expected?

The willingness to commit to long-term participation in the DLI program is essential. Parents must commit to participating in the program through 5th grade. Parents should take advantage of the opportunities to learn about DLI education by attending parent meetings. 

 How do I best support my child in learning a new language?

We will provide information for parents throughout the program from Kindergarten through 5th grade. In general, research shows that you can support the process by:

  • Being patient and supportive since it may take time for your child to feel comfortable in a classroom where a new language is being spoken
  • Joining this exciting journey by learning some Spanish or English yourself
  • Reading with your child in their native language for 20-30 minutes daily
  • Encouraging your child to practice their language skills with native speakers in the community  

I live in the Community Park neighborhood and I do not want my child to do immersion. Will my child attend CP?

In 2019 Community Park did not offer any “traditional,” English-only classes for Kindergarten and First Grade students. Our expectation is that for the coming 2020-2021 school year, we will again offer only DLI programming for Kindergarten. CP families who do not wish for their incoming Kindergartener to enroll in the immersion program will attend one of the other elementary schools with transportation provided. For the 2020-2021 school year, Community Park will continue to offer “traditional” classes at Grades 3, 4 and 5. 

Will Community Park become an immersion-only school?

This is a distinct possibility that will be determined in part by district enrollment and interest in the program.

Will my student be able to continue Spanish-language education in middle school?

Provisions for the first-ever graduating immersion class from Community Park who will be moving up to John Witherspoon are ongoing. 

 

 

 

En Español

 

Contact

Dineen Gruchacz, Community Park Principal
609.806.4230
DineenGruchacz@princetonk12.org
 
Priscilla Russel, District Supervisor of World Languages, ESL/Bilingual and Dual Language Immersion Programs
609.806.4280 x 3252
PriscillaRussel@princetonk12.org