My daughter will be starting kinder in the fall. We are unhappy with the elementary we are zoned for (I won't mention names), and are hoping to transfer her into a dual language program (if we aren't chosen through lottery to attend our first choice,the public charter Austin Discovery School). She has been in a bilingual preschool since she was almost 2, but we don't speak fluent Spanish at home. It seems like it's much harder for children like my daughter to get into a dual language program than a native Spanish speaker. Any tips on what to do, what to say, or who to contact in order to help our chances of getting in? We are interested in Becker Elementary specifically, but are also open to Sunset Valley or Perez. Thanks in advanced!
ps- any tips on how to up our chances of just getting into our first choice, Austin Discovery School, will also be MUCH appreciated.
Are you trying to get your daughter into a program to learn spanish? if so, this is not what those programs are for. Austin, and Texas in general has been experiencing a huge influx of Hispanics with little knowledge of English. They take up a lot of school's resources being in regular class settings, so these programs are established to transition them into school and the English language. This isn't always the case but in Texas, with out a doubt. So, public schools are going to be out of the option. Looks like you're already considering private/charter schools, but honestly, a lot of charter schools are for "at-risk" situation kids. PAYED private schools might be your bet. But do you really want to remove your child from the public school system over this issue? There are plenty of non-school related Spanish lesson programs out there, look in the yellow pages or online, not to hard to find. Hope I could help.76493
Try the Magellan school at Far West. It is Spanish immersion and is also a private school. We attended an info session and depending on your financial status, they apparently offer lots of grants and scholarships that many don't take advantage of (at least that's what they told us). Otherwise, you could just try to work everyday yourselves with your daughter after school and practice Spanish. It would be difficult for a non-fluent speaker but definitely not impossible. Good luck!76799
I would take another look at AISD schools. The district is moving toward dual language in quite a few schools that used to have bilingual education (main purpose to get non-English speakers to speak English). This year more schools switched from bilingual educaiton to dual language programs , where the kids speak & learn everything in Spanish one day, and the next in English. They alternate language each day so that English speaking kids learn Spanish/Spanish speaking learn English. They started this in Kinder & 1st grade at Zilker Elementary this year & they are adding a grade each year. You should call the district to see what other schools have it. There's quite a few, and many people don't realize the district seems to be making the switch. 76845
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