Page 2 of 2 Previous
Schiebel said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if the district had more demand than it could meet.
“I really could see people moving down here specifically for immersion, because the homes are somewhat affordable,” she said.
More details to come
The committee is examining what has worked for other districts, Holmberg said, including an Eastern Carver County schools program that’s been “a nice model for our committee to look at.”
While the committee is still doing research, they’re “leaning toward” a dual immersion model, Metzger said.
Typically, dual immersion means that there are kids whose first language is both of the languages being taught — in this case, Spanish and English — in the class. That way, the students are learning both languages together, Holmberg said.
“We would love to get [Spanish-speaking] families involved,” Metzger said. It also means students are taught in both languages, she said.
So far, the committee has found that in kindergarten, teaching up to 90 percent of lessons in Spanish works best, with more English added each year, she said.
Kindergartners would still be taught the same concepts, using state standards, that other kids learn in English, Metzger said.
There are still plenty of challenges and decisions to be made, Metzger said.
The committee has heard that finding qualified bilingual teachers can be hard, Metzger said, and locating curriculum and textbooks in Spanish could be difficult, too.
Holmberg said the group aims to bring a recommendation to the board in late November or early December as to whether the district should offer Spanish immersion kindergarten, and then the board will vote.
Since kindergarten orientation is planned for Jan. 23 and parent meetings will have to be held as well, there’s “some urgency” to get decisions made “so that we can put some logistics and specifics into it,” he said.
“We really want to have as much information out there … so that [parents] can have a discussion about it and start to make some decisions moving forward,” he said.
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283