School officials aren’t certain how popular world language immersion programs will prove to be, so they’re taking different approaches as they introduce the new offering.
The Red Clay Consolidated School District will offer a Spanish immersion program to about 100 kindergarten students and about 100 first-grade students at the William C. Lewis Dual Language Elementary School in Wilmington. Families outside the Lewis attendance area may apply through the choice program if spaces are available, a district spokesman said.
In Indian River, the Spanish immersion program will be offered to kindergarten students at the John M. Clayton Elementary School in Frankford. The district anticipates having about 20 students from the Clayton attendance area in the program and another 20 from other attendance areas who would enroll through the choice program, according to Audrey Carey, the district’s supervisor of elementary instruction. If more than 40 students are interested in the program, the district will use a lottery to choose participants, she said.
In Caesar Rodney, with more than 300 kindergarten families expressing preliminary interest in the Chinese language program, a lottery will likely be needed to determine the 100 students who will participate, said J. Scott Lykens, the district’s director of instruction. Classes will be offered at the district’s McIlvaine Early Childhood Center in Magnolia. For first grade in 2013-2014, the program will be offered at two elementary schools, W.B. Simpson and Allen Frear. Students who live in the attendance zone for W. Reily Brown Elementary would have to choice into Simpson to participate in the program, Lykens said.
Officials of the Colonial School District joined other Delaware educators in February on a trip to observe immersion programs in Utah, but they are not planning to implement a Chinese language program until 2013-14, and that is not definite, said Carlton Lampkins, the district’s assistant superintendent. The district must determine where space is available to house the program and “we want all of our kids to have access,” he said. If the district moves ahead, that will most likely mean placing classes at two sites, one in the northern part of the district and the other in the southern part, he said.