Dual Immersion 50/50 Academy

Walnut Grove Dual Language Academy:

Committed to Quality

Dual language is not new to the Patterson Joint Unified School District (PJUSD). In fact, Grayson Charter School has gained acclaim and popularity over the last  years for its’ outstanding dual language program. However, many parents living within the city limits of Patterson wanted their children in the Grayson dual language program, only to find out Grayson was already over capacity. In an effort to meet the need of those families desiring a dual language education for their children, PJUSD is establishing a dual language academy within the city limits of Patterson at Walnut Grove School. The Walnut Grove School Dual Language Academy was carefully developed with input from parents, educators, university staff, and the Two-Way CABE organization. Since the program commenced in the fall of 2009, we have been working diligently to provide children with an excellent opportunity to enrich their education with fluency in two languages.

WHY Dual Language Immersion?

Research regarding dual language education has revealed that once children are fully bilingual, they start to outperform their peers. In fact, Steve Charbonneau, former Principal of Walnut Grove School, was personally involved in research through California State University, Stanislaus dealing with California dual language schools. Utilizing statistical analysis software, his team concluded that, on average, dual language schools performed as well or better on the California Standards Test (CST) than schools with regular programs. During its first year in existence, the Walnut Grove School Dual Language Academy served only kindergarten students allowing the stand of Dual to grow within each year.   This will continue throughout the years until dual language instruction is offered school-wide (K-8). Dual language instruction is not a good fit for all students, and so we will offer English-only instruction to meet the needs of students not enrolled in the Dual Language Academy.

Preparing Students for a Global Economy

There was never a better time in history to speak more than one language, but why is it that we tend to neglect the treasure in our own backyard? Obviously, Spanish is a good language to know if you are a Californian, but were you aware that Spanish is spoken in 21 countries worldwide? Among countries whose official language is Spanish are Spain, Argentina, Malabo (West Africa), Costa Rica, and Mexico. Needless to say, amazing possibilities exist for those who are bi-lingual and biliterate in Spanish. We are proud to say that the Walnut Grove School Dual Language Academy will provide an enrichment program dedicated to building a student body that is bilingual, biliterate and multicultural. This will be achieved by providing a comprehensive core curriculum in conjunction with instruction in Spanish. Beginning in Kindergarten, 50% of instruction will take place in Spanish and 50% of the instruction is in English (50:50 ratio). It is through this concept of "total immersion" in both languages that children first begin to acquire the foundation that will anchor their progress as they start their journey towards being bilingual and bi-literate students.

Walnut Grove School embraces the following philosophy for student learning through a belief that:

· All children can learn.

· Children learn best when challenged by high standards delivered by high quality teachers.

· Dual Language proficiency is an attainable goal for all students.

· Bilingual proficiency is desirable and beneficial for all students.

· Language, cultural diversity and a sense of community can be assets for teaching and learning.

· Teaching and learning must accommodate individuals.

· Schools can reduce student risk factors by teaching social and learning skills.

· Solutions to risk factors must be grounded in a valid general theory of developmental, teaching, and schooling processes.

If you are interested in your kinder child participating in our Dual Language Academy, you will need to:

· Attend a mandatory Parent Orientation. ORIENTATIONS are advertised with flyers sent/made available to each of the elementary schools, preschools, district office and posted in the Patterson Irrigator 2 to 3 weeks prior to meetings.  *One morning and one evening DUAL ORIENTATION meeting are held at the beginning of March.  *One additional orientation is held ‘after’ kindergarten registration night for those who have not attended and show interest while submitting registration materials at kindergarten registration night. Register your child at your school of residence

Selection of students and seats are filled as follows:

1) Siblings of current/continuing DUAL students

2) Patterson School District employee’s children (Full time employees ONLY)

3) 10% of total seats filled by lottery of the Intras (students living outside school boundaries)

4) Remaining seats filled by lottery of interested WG boundary students

Kindergarten:  No entry criteria.

1st – 5th grade (Students that have not been in a Dual Program): Parents make request for child to enter DLI program. Student is given the EOY Assessment in English & Spanish of the previous grade. Assessments are scored (score 70% or better). Results are shared with parents; administrator and parents come to consensus on appropriate placement. If no space is available in the DLI class, the student is placed on a waiting list. Waiting lists are updated every year with a call to parents inquiring as to their desire to remain on the waiting list. When an opening occurs, the first student on the waiting list for that grade level is contacted.

Families choose the Walnut Grove School Dual Language Academy for many reasons which include but are not limited to the following:

· Students are instructed in a 50/50 language model.

· Students acquire multiple languages and multicultural skills, preparing them for a 21st century economy

· Knowledgeable, professional staff with a commitment to dual language education and most importantly their students

· Partnerships with CSU Stanislaus and the Two-Way CABE organization

· Increased exposure to ethnic and cultural diversity

· Standards-based teaching and collaborative learning strategies that are both student and teacher driven



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