Alpine Schools Will Offer Bilingual Program
Dual-Immersion programs, where students spend equal time learning core subjects in English and another language are exploding in California. There are about three times as many now as there were a decade ago. Alpine Union Elementary School District will contribute to that growth by starting its first bilingual program.
More than 115 parents are already signed up for the district's first information session this Wednesday. They’ll hear about getting their children into the pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms where students will be taught in English and Spanish at the Creekside Early Learning Center and Shadow Hills Elementary School starting next fall.
The district will add one grade level of Spanish-English classrooms each following year at Shadow Hills.
Superintendent Tom Pellegrino said there’s a clear interest in the benefits students reap later in life from being bilingual.
“We’ve identified at least 44 students that are enrolled in other dual language programs in other districts," he said. "Parents are so impressed and understand the benefits of these programs that they’re driving their kids 20, 30, 40 minutes one way to get to these programs.”
Pellegrino said bilingual students will be more competitive in the global economy. Many studies show cognitive and academic performance advantages for students in dual-immersion programs.