Information for Parents and Community Members

  • Began in Kindergarten at Elm St. School for the 2001-02 school year

  • Goals

-Oral fluency and literacy in Spanish and English
-Academic excellence with bilingual and bi-literate competence
-Cross-cultural, pro-social skills, and multicultural capacity

  • Program Components

-Class Makeup – English speakers, Spanish speakers, Bilingual Students. Students model language for one another.
-Target Language – 50% or more of the instruction is delivered in Spanish; the status of both languages is equal in the dual language classroom.
-Strategies – Target language is used for instruction – no concurrent translation; models, pictures, and real objects are used to maximize understanding; classmates help each other.
-Characteristics – Parents and classmates are a resource; The program is enriched education with high expectations; The program is long term.

  • Benefits

-Improves academic achievement
-Enhances communication skills
-Expands students’ multicultural views
-Students become language experts
-Provides future education and career opportunities
-Learning a second language in childhood is the best time to develop fluency, pronunciation, and a natural ease of expression.

  • The instructional model is 90:10

Spanish language time gradually decreases from 90 % in kindergarten to 50% in the upper grades

  • Curriculum:

All subjects are taught using the state-adopted curriculum and state Common Core standards in either Spanish or English or both. (see curriculum description)

  • Assessment:

Students are assessed in both languages as they make progress toward meeting the standards for the core curriculum. They also participate in the mandated California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System each spring. English Learners take the English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC) until reclassified to Fluent English Proficient.

  • Voluntary Enriched Education:

The program is voluntary. Parents of Spanish-speaking, bilingual, and English-speaking children can request the program as an alternative to English-only instruction. This bilingual option is an enriched education opportunity for their child.

  • Enrollment:

Parents sign up in the spring of each year when kindergarten enrollment opens (March) and check the box on the registration form requesting the program. Transitional Kindergarten students are eligible for dual at the end of their TK year.

  • Interview:

The parents and child are interviewed for school readiness, language proficiency, and parent commitment to the program.

  • Lottery:

When there are more requests than spaces, the selection is based on a lottery. We maintain an active waiting list. English speakers join in Kindergarten or 1st grade. Spanish speakers and bilingual students join at any grade based on their individual strengths and academic needs.

  • Program Duration:

6 years – Kindergarten through 5th grade. Parents make a long-term commitment to the program for their children to become fully bilingual and bi-literate. There is a formal change of placement process as per Board Policy, for requests to leave the program prior to the end of 5th grade.

Gretchen Skrotzki
BES Principal
Bishop Elementary School / 760.872.1278

Nancy Hagopian
Hispanic Liaison
Bishop Elementary School / 760.872.1278