Friday, November 15, 2013

Vision wanted for new Dual Immersion school

Parents and staff invited to help craft school mission


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Teacher Deborah VanLaw instructs Dual Immersion kindergarten students at Woodside Elementary School in 2011. Next fall, Woodside Elementary is slated to become a “magnet school” for Dual Immersion studies only. Photo by staff files

    Parents and future staff for the Blaine County School District’s new Dual Immersion Magnet School are invited to a public meeting Monday, Nov. 18, to help the district craft a vision and mission for the new school.
    Referred to as a “visionary meeting,” the event is scheduled to run from 6-7 p.m. at Woodside Elementary School in southern Hailey. Snacks and beverages will be provided.
    The Dual Immersion Magnet School is planned to become operational for grades K-5 at Woodside Elementary School at the beginning of the 2014 school year. Approved by the district board of trustees in January, the new school will offer only studies in Dual Immersion, a program in which instruction is provided in both English and Spanish with the intent that students become fluent in both languages.
    With the new magnet school, the Dual Immersion classes at Hailey and Bellevue elementary schools will be transferred to Woodside. Non-DI students at Woodside will be transferred to another elementary school in the district.
    Under the plan approved by the school board, Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum will retain its Dual Immersion students.
    The district’s Dual Immersion program is now in its 13th year.
    Under the current plan for Dual Immersion, the limit on the number of students enrolled will be reduced from 600 to 528, a reduction of 12.4 percent. The district has considered the possibility of installing portable classrooms or even building a new wing at Woodside Elementary School in order to maintain or even increase the number of Dual Immersion students.
Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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