Champaign Schools Introduces 12th Elementary School Option for Families, Featuring Dual Language Two-Way Immersion

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:22am
The Champaign Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a new dual language elementary school option for families Monday night. The new program, which will be located at the former Carrie Busey Elementary at 1605 W. Kirby Avenue, will open next fall and welcome kindergarten through first grade students, with the intent to grow into a full 12th elementary school for the district. Parents will be able to select this program as an option during the kindergarten registration period that begins January 2, 2014. 
The new Dual Language Two-Way Immersion (TWI) Program will offer English/Spanish dual language bilingual education; classrooms will consist of roughly 50% native Spanish-speakers and 50% native English-speakers and will encourage bilingualism (speaking two languages), biculturalism (understanding two cultures), and bi-literacy (reading and writing in two language).  Students will receive reading and writing instruction in both Spanish and English. Math, social studies and science instruction will also take place in both Spanish and English.
“We are excited to offer this new option to our kindergarten families,” said Dr. Susan Zola, Assistant Superintendent for Achievement, Curriculum, & Instruction. “Over the past few years we’ve seen a growing interest from our families in this kind of program and for good reason; students who receive a dual language, bilingual education develop high levels of proficiency or skills in two languages, perform academically at or above grade level in all subject areas, and demonstrate positive attitudes and behaviors toward two cultures.”
The new program will also address capacity issues at the District’s elementary schools, as the District has experienced dramatic increase in elementary school enrollment in the past three years. The program will temporarily share space with Kenwood Elementary School at the Kirby Avenue location until Kenwood returns to its newly renovated building during the 2015-2016 school year. Maria Alanis, Director of ESL/Bilingual Education, will be the school administrator overseeing the program. 
More information about the Dual Language Program will be made available soon on the District website. More information will also be available at the upcoming Schools of Choice Community Forums.