Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Foreign Language Immersion Program To Be Cut Back?

A rare foreign language immersion program in a Marion County public school is on the bubble, according to a report by veteran reporter Howard Smulevitz in The Indianapolis Star today.

Fortunately, the Lawrence Township School board, parents and students objected to the proposal “to remove kindergarten classes from a Spanish immersion magnet program as part of a plan to balance enrollments in elementary buildings” at a meeting Monday night. Read more here.

Lawrence Township is justly proud of its international studies programs, which began in 1994. The school’s website notes:

“We are an international magnet school serving over 700 students in grades kindergarten through five. At Forest Glen we believe that through a strong focus on understanding other cultures our students will be better prepared to meet the challenges of the global community of the future.”

Forest Glen's Global Studies Program enables students develop an in-depth interest in world studies and geography as they make cross-cultural connections. In addition students attend daily Spanish classes, according to the website.

In the Spanish Immersion Program, all conversation and instruction in classrooms is in Spanish, from kindergarten through third grade. Students in fourth and fifth grades have instruction in Spanish for half of the day, and in English for half of the day.

The Nationalities Council agrees wholeheartedly with the board, parents and students! Don't cut back on this innovative program! What about adding immersion Spanish to kindergartens in the other Lawrence Township Schools instead?

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