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Enrollment opens for dual language immersion program in South Whittier

SOUTH WHITTIER — South Whittier School District’s Dual Language Immersion Program is now open for enrollment for their 2020-2021 school year.

South Whittier implemented a Dual Language Immersion Program that began in the 2019-20 school year. The district offers a kindergarten class at Howard J. McKibben Elementary and a kindergarten and transitional Kindergarten class at Los Altos.

“The opening of our Dual Immersion program has already positively impacted our district,” Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, Martha Mestanza-Rojas, stated. 

“Our original plan was to open two Kindergarten classes for the 2019 -2020 school year, however, the demand and interest were so great there was a need to open an additional Kindergarten class and a Transitional Kindergarten class at Los Altos.”

The Dual Language Immersion Program consists of classes that are a 90/10 two-way immersion program. Each class has the same number of native English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students. The teachers are all highly qualified and state-certified to teach in two languages.

This 90/10 program model has been shown to have a strong impact on student success. Students tend to achieve higher levels of literacy in both languages and higher levels of academic achievement than those in an English-only instruction model. The model also closes the achievement gap faster and students achieve higher levels of oral language and literacy in the targeted language.

Research evidence indicates that bilingual programs, in which biliteracy is the goal and bilingual instruction is sustained, promotes literacy in English, as well as in the student’s primary language.

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