District revises bilingual plans | SierraSun.com

District revises bilingual plans

The Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District Board of Trustees approved a revised districtwide bilingual plan for English learners at its Jan. 10 meeting.

With the passage of Proposition 227 – an initiative that was aimed at banning bilingual education in elementary schools – a few years ago and changes in state requirements, the current plan for students learning English as a second language needed revision.

“Most of the changes are to incorporate the things Prop. 227 brought in,” said TTUSD Coordinator of State and Federal Programs Ruta Krusa. “The philosophy and the goals were not changed.”

A new requirement from the state includes intervention, or “catch-up” programs, where English learners who are identified as making inadequate progress in content due to difficulties with the English language will be provided with appropriate assistance to catch up.

“If a child falls behind academically because of language, each school in the district should have a plan to recoup the ‘academic deficit,’ according to the new requirements,” Krusa explained.

The plan includes teacher observation, parent notification, record keeping and site-specific activities such as mini-clubs, special computer time, special partners, before and after school programs and homework clubs.

The new plan also includes the dual language immersion program for both English learners and native English speakers that was implemented three years ago. English-only students in the immersion program may begin in Kindergarten or grade 1. In subsequent years, only Spanish speaking students will be admitted into those classrooms.

“The bilingual plan is a plan we will continue to implement. If there are areas the staff feels need to be changed they can always bring that back to us,” TTUSD Board President Karen Van Epps said.

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