Hazel Valley & Midway schools will launch Spanish-English programs

Thanks to input from staff and families, more students in Highline Public Schools will have the opportunity for bilingual education – Hazel Valley and Midway elementary schools will transition to English-Spanish dual language schools, starting with students entering kindergarten in September 2018.

The two schools will join six other dual language schools across the district.

The addition of two dual language elementary schools supports Highline’s goal for students to graduate bilingual and biliterate by 2026. “We know that becoming bilingual and biliterate gives our students a competitive advantage, and that is why we are so committed to this bold goal,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “Many of our students start school with skills in more than one language, and dual language gives us the opportunity to capitalize on that asset.”

In a dual language program, students learn to speak, read and write in two languages. Half of the instruction is in English and half in Spanish. Students move between two teachers during the day to learn in both languages.

Only kindergarteners will receive dual language instruction the first year. All other grades will have all-English instruction. Each year as the inaugural class advances to the next grade, the schools will gradually transition to fully bilingual schools.

Families who do not want to participate in dual language will have the option to enroll in a nearby school.

Research shows that instruction in two languages enhances learning in both the students’ native language and their new language. Dual language students achieve at the same level or higher than their English-only peers on standardized tests. Students in dual language programs develop positive attitudes about other cultural backgrounds and build confidence in themselves as learners.

To learn more, read Highline’s FAQ and Fact Sheet on dual language.

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