Jefferson Elementary School

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Board Approves Dual Language at Fischer for 2018-19

With one member absent, the D205 Board of Education voted 6-0 to approve a Dual Language program at Conrad Fischer Elementary School for the 2018-19 school year. There was extensive discussion on the Dual Language program before the final vote. Jane Bailey, Principal at Conrad Fischer Elementary, discussed the issue of space. She said they are planning for five kindergarten sections for next year; the school currently has four sections. Mrs. Bailey said many rooms at the school are allocated for “resource rooms,” which is nothing more than office space. If those rooms were allocated to kindergarten classes, resource personnel who previously used those rooms could partner with a classroom teacher and co-teach and/or provide acceleration.

"No implementation is without growing pains, and this will be the growing pain, but I do think it will be worth it at the end of the day,” Mrs. Bailey said.

According to Principal Bailey, it is difficult to plan for potential space concerns further down the road than the first year of the program because it is still unknown how many students will participate. If there are too many Dual Language students to fit into Fischer, plans can be made to add a second location.

Regarding impact to the Fischer community, Dr. Henderson said the District will look to collect feedback from parents, students and teachers in a similar fashion to the way feedback is currently being collected for the Standards-Based Reporting system.

“It’s not something to be fearful of, because we have to think differently,” Ms. Bailey said. “If you're talking about opportunities in a global economy, then you need to be bilingual."

Dr. Moyer added that “There are benefits for both the native English speaking and native Spanish speaking students in this program, even though the rationale focuses more on native Spanish speaking students. It’s a phenomenal enrichment opportunity to truly allow all students to graduate bi-lingual, bi-literate and bi-cultural.”

Click here for details regarding the D205 Dual Language program planned for 2018-19 and Dual Language in general.

Posted by: Melea Smith, District Admin, Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Published:1/15/18
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