Studies have shown that children enrolled in dual-language programs can benefit tremendously from receiving instruction in two languages. Students in such programs routinely outperform their peers on standardized tests, do better on college-readiness exams such as the SAT, and can earn up to 20 percent more in wages as adults.
That’s why HISD is expanding its dual-language offerings to an additional 14 elementary campuses this fall, and has a six-year plan in place to make the program available in at least half of its elementary campuses by the year 2020.
“We extended an invitation to all elementary schools to participate in the expansion last summer, and this is the first group to complete the long preparation process,” said Assistant Superintendent of Multilingual Programs Gracie Guerrero. “It has been energizing to see how enthusiastic the interested principals are about what this can bring to their students.”
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Eighteen HISD campuses currently offer the dual-language program: Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School; Briscoe, Daily, DeAnda, Emerson, Helms, Herod, Herrera, Kashmere Gardens, Law, Northline, Sherman, and Twain elementary schools; Billy Reagan and Wharton K-8s; Burbank and Johnston middle schools, and Reagan High School.
HISD is hosting a series of meetings this month to share information about the dual-language program and answer any questions that parents, students, or other community members might have. Attendees will hear from teachers and school administrators; nationally recognized dual-language experts; and the parents of students currently benefitting from HISD’s current dual-language offerings. A full schedule is here (.pdf)
For more information on the dual-language program, please visit the Multilingual department’s website. Principals who want their schools to be considered for the 2015–2016 cohort should contact Dr. Altagracia Guerrero at 713-556-6961.