DELAVAN — The Delavan-Darien School District is hosting parent informational meetings about its English/Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program at 5:45 p.m. on both Tuesday, Feb. 3, and Thursday, Feb. 12, at Phoenix Middle School.
The 90-minute meetings are being held in advance of the district’s preschool and kindergarten enrollment day, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19, also at Phoenix Middle School (7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 3:30-6:30 p.m.).
Dual Language Program information sessions will be available in both English and Spanish and will be available at the same time in separate rooms. Childcare will be provided at the school during the meeting times.
Parents of preschool and/or kindergarten students who are interested in enrolling their child(ren) in the Delavan-Darien Dual Language Immersion Program should attend these information sessions, if possible. The program is open to all students, no matter where they live, their ethnicity or their native language.
“I have been just thrilled with the program,” said Berenice Solis, mother of current 4-year-old kindergarten student Maresa. “I think a program like this was long overdue. I have really noticed Maresa increasing her vocabulary and also her fluency in both the Spanish and English languages. It’s been remarkable.”
Solis said the adults in her family are bilingual already but they’ve mostly spoken English at home around Maresa and their other children.
Now, Maresa is often speaking both languages at home and has her older siblings wanting to learn more Spanish, Berenice said.
“She latched on to it right away and has learned so much in such a short period of time. We are absolutely sticking with this program,” Berenice said.
In this, it’s first year, the Dual Language Immersion Program started with preschool, kindergarten and first grade classes. The program will grow incrementally by grade through high school.
Students start out in preschool speaking 90 percent Spanish and 10 percent English. Kindergarten is an 80 percent/20 percent split between the languages and first grade is 70/30. The progression continues until it is a 50/50 mix by about third grade.
The meeting will cover more details about the setup of the program, the many benefits of students being taught in a bilingual and bicultural environment, and the benefits of students becoming fluent in another language.
“In just its first year, the program has been tremendously successful,” said Ron Sandoval, Delavan-Darien’s director of language acquisition. “We are excited to continue and expand this optional program which is available to all of our students entering preschool or kindergarten in the fall.”
The program is based at Turtle Creek Elementary School. Students in the Wileman or Darien attendance area will be provided bus transportation so they can still take part in the choice program. The program is also accepting Open Enrollment applicants from other districts who do not have such an opportunity in their community’s public schools.
Delavan-Darien is the only school district in Walworth County to offer a true dual language program.
For further questions about the program, contact Sandoval at 262-728-2642 ext. 4814, or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.