Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dual language program merging

This afternoon, the Worcester School Committee received the following from Dr. Rodrigues:
The Dual Language Program at Norrback Avenue School and Roosevelt School has been a great feature to the district’s portfolio and as a viable option for parents in Worcester.
This year, Dr. Bertha Elena Rojas and her team conducted a thorough review of the two programs’ practices and outcomes resulting in some immediate realignment of resources, scheduling, and the development of a structured professional development series to strengthen teachers’ instructional practices in a multilingual, bi-literacy environment.
Since its inception, we have not been able to provide the features of this program beyond grade 3, with limited Spanish language exposure in grades 4 through 6. Evidence based research of dual language programs emphasizes the importance of an uninterrupted 50/50 model of instruction, in Spanish and English, from Kindergarten through grade 6.
In order to strengthen our program delivery and to expand the 50/50 model through grade 6, the district will merge the Norrback Avenue program with the existing program at Roosevelt School. This merger will create a robust program, with greater alignment of resources, and expansion of the50/50 model of instruction to grade 4 in 2014-2015 school year. This merger also required personnel realignment, favorable to current budget constraints.
This afternoon, parents/guardians of students enrolled in the Dual Language Program at Norrback Avenue School will receive a letter describing the merger of the programs for next year. Parents are invited to an informational meeting at Norrback Avenue School and Roosevelt School (letters attached).  The principal of Roosevelt School will be in attendance at the Norrback meeting and will offer parents the opportunity to visit the Dual Language Program at Roosevelt School in the coming weeks.
We are excited about the merger as it will raise the district’s ability to implement the Dual Language Program with fidelity and to expand and sustain the 50/50 model through grade 6.

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