Tulsa Public Schools plans to implement or expand dual language programs at three school sites next year, the district announced Monday.
TPS will add a two-way dual language program at Disney Elementary in the 2020-21 school year and launch a multilingual content language program at Will Rogers College Junior High. Dual language programming also will be expanded at Kendall-Whittier Elementary.
The district has broadened its multilingual programs at the elementary level for the past seven years.
Dual language programming currently is offered at Kendall-Whittier, Skelly Elementary, Celia Clinton Elementary, Sequoyah Elementary, Dual Language Academy, Springdale Elementary, Henry Zarrow International and Eisenhower International. Additionally, language immersion classes are available at Carver Middle School and Thoreau Demonstration Academy.
With the addition of Disney Elementary and Will Rogers College Junior High, TPS will offer dual language programming at 10 school sites and seeks to expand to other neighborhood schools in coming years.
“We know that student access to multilingual education correlates with higher academic achievement and expanded college and career opportunities,” Superintendent Deborah Gist said in a news release. “We also know that Tulsa families want dual language learning opportunities for their children, so we’re excited to expand our programs to meet that need.”
Disney Elementary will begin offering 40 dual language prekindergarten spots next year. Those students will learn to read in their stronger language first, the release states, while they develop academic language skills and literacy in English and Spanish.
The program offers core subjects such as science and social studies in Spanish and math in English to help students develop proficiency in both languages. Participants will be able to stay in the program through fifth grade.
At Kendall-Whittier, all prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms will become dual language in 2020-21. The program will expand a grade each year, making Kendall-Whittier the district’s first two-way dual language neighborhood school for students from pre-K through fifth grade.
Students currently in the school’s one-way dual language program are 100% Spanish-dominant speakers and are taught in English and Spanish. The expanded program will allow kids to learn to read in their stronger language first while developing academic skills in both languages.
Will Rogers College Junior High will launch the Spanish language content pathway for dual language students entering sixth and seventh grades. The program will offer core subjects such as math, science or social studies in Spanish for students to continue to develop their language acquisition skills and academic vocabulary, according to the release.