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Dual Language Immersion

Dual Language Immersion Welcomes Kindergarten and First Grade Applicants for 2024-2025

CP DLI Parents Video

The CP Dual Language Immersion program is open to all PPS incoming Kindergarten and 1st grade students entering in September of 2024. Families who are registering a child in these grades for Fall 2024 and are interested in the DLI program should indicate their interest on the “Form H, Home Language Survey” page when registering students to Princeton Public Schools on the district registration website.

Upcoming Parent Information Sessions:

Wednesday, February 21st, 9 am – Virtual
**Please sign up to receive link to attend**
  
Sunday, February 25th, 3:00 pm at Community Park School
**This session is for Spanish speaking families**
 

Attendance at a parent information session is a pre-requisite for entry to the program - DLI applications will be provided to families who attend these information sessions.

Please contact the Community Park main office (609.806.4230 or christinetollefsen@princetonk12.org) for more details.

En Español

DLI Program at Community Park School

Presently 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, Spanish language arts and cultures class in Spanish, and language arts and social studies in English. Specials, such as physical education, music, and library, are taught in English. 

A 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 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 often 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.
  • 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 2024-2025?

We welcome all district students to our program!  Any PPS student (Johnson Park, Riverside, Littlebrook and Community Park). 

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 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 christinetollefsen@princetonk12.org.

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

A student fluent in Spanish or 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 1st grade.

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 Pre-K 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  

 

 

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