ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local school district is looking to strengthen its dual language education program by creating a pathway for students to succeed.
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Albuquerque Public Schools is partnering with Dual Language Education of New Mexico to create a program that would essentially align an elementary school with its middle school and its high school to make sure students get a bilingual education from pre-k to high school
Officials say this could look different at every grade level but say an example could look like a math class being taught in all Spanish while a language arts class would be taught in all English.
They want Spanish speaking students to become fluent in English and vice versa. They say it’s also about having a value for the other cultures that are involved.
Their goal is to create students who will be much more prepared for the global market.
“It makes them much more employable. Our students who are doing business, they have to communicate with all different cultures and all different languages,” said Yvonne Garcia, Associate Superintendent for High School and Curriculum Instruction.
Dual language programs are already in many APS schools but this particular program was selected for the Rio Grande feeder pattern. Those schools include Pajarito Elementary School, Navajo Elementary School, Adobe Acres Elementary School, Armijo Elementary School, Polk Middle School, Harrison Middle School, Ernie Pyle Middle School, and Rio Grande High School.
They were able to get this program in those schools thanks to a $1.4 million Kellogg Grant over the course of three years.
Their work is already underway. They say they’ve started a process to conduct interviews at school sites, observe classroom instruction, and host community forums.
They’re now looking to hire more bilingual teachers.