The Dallas ISD has ambitious plans to put up “Newcomer Centers” high schoolers still learning in English in an attempt to revamp the language program according to a Dallas Morning News article from March 15th. In it they say:
“The latest efforts include launching a pilot program to serve the 1,600 newcomer students in high school that would offer them intensive help in acclimating to English instruction.
Newcomer students are recent immigrants with limited English skills. The district offers a program targeted to newcomers at six elementary schools, but no middle or high schools.
The center would open at a comprehensive high school as a “school-within-a-school.” It is not clear where the pilot center would initially be located, but the goal is to locate five across the district.
Newcomer students would receive their first two years of high school within the center before returning to their neighborhood campus.”
This is incredibly helpful to many students, specifically, for a chunk of Dallas’ Spanish-speaking kids, they need English language skills to excel in American schooling according to another Dallas Morning News article from March 16th. In it they say:
“It is simply an economic and social reality that English proficiency lifts opportunities for young people in the U.S., and indeed around the world.
We know, however, that students at every grade level enter Dallas ISD with limited English language skills that make learning harder in almost every area.
The district has made great strides in the last decade toward building effective bilingual language schools and classes that give students the chance to both learn core material and develop their abilities in English.
These programs are hugely popular, and, interestingly enough, not just with non-English speaking families. Many native English-speaking families are eager to see their children in dual-language schools where they will emerge speaking and writing Spanish or another language with enviable fluency.”
This is a groundbreaking step forward in providing immigrant and bilingual kids with the opportunities and skills they need to perform better in school.