Dual Language Immersion Welcomes Kindergarten and First Grade Applicants for 2022-2023
The CP Dual Language Immersion program is open to all PPS incoming Kindergarten and 1st grade students. Families who are registering a child for Kindergarten for Fall 2022 and are interested in the DLI program should indicate their interest on the online registration “Form H, Home Language Survey” page. This will enable us to contact your family regarding virtual parent information sessions and provide a link to attend. Attendance at a parent information session is required for entry to the program - DLI applications will be provided to families who attend these information sessions. Indicating interest on the registration form is not a commitment to the program.
Please call the Community Park main office for details at 609.806.4230.
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 another language. 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. 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 people and other cultures.
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 2022-2023?
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 2022 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. A student in an older grade who is transferring from another DLI program or who speaks Spanish proficiently 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. For instance, if Japanese is your native language you can still apply to the immersion program.
How do I apply?
Please indicate your interest in the DLI program on the “Form H, Home Language Survey” page of the online registration. Families who indicate interest will be invited to attend a virtual parent information session. Applications will be distributed at the conclusion of the parent information session and should be submitted to the Community Park School Main Office. For additional information, please contact the Community Park School Main Office at 609-806-4230 or email firstname.lastname@example.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?
Our expectation is that for the coming 2022-2023 school year, we will again offer only DLI programming for Kindergarten through Grade 4. 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 2022-2023 school year, Community Park will continue to offer “traditional” classes at Grade 5.
Will Community Park become an immersion-only school?
Yes, Community Park is moving towards becoming a K-5 immersion school and should become one for the 2023-24 school year.
Will my student be able to continue Spanish-language education in middle school?
Yes, the DLI program continues into middle school. This year there are DLI cohorts in 6th and 7th grade. Next year, the first cohort will arrive in 8th grade. The program will end after 8th grade and in the high school DLI students will enroll in a Spanish class at the appropriate level.
In the middle school, the DLI program consists of two courses: a Spanish class at the appropriate level and Social Studies in Spanish.