Huntley School District 158 to begin dual language classes at kindergarten level

HUNTLEY – Huntley School District 158 is expanding its dual language program starting next school year.

The district approved expanding its dual language program for the 2018-19 school year in 2017, and it plans to host informational sessions for parents throughout March and April, according to the district’s website.

The district will offer dual language classes for kindergartners at Chesak Elementary School in Lake in the Hills, Leggee Elementary School in Huntley and Mackeben Elementary School in Algonquin, as well as two first-grade classrooms at Chesak.

The program will expand grade by grade until fully implemented at the fifth-grade level by the 2023-24 school year, with the goal that students will be bilingual, biliterate and culturally competent by fifth grade.

Two-way immersion classrooms will be split evenly, with half Spanish-speaking and half English-speaking students, and one will serve as a role model and learner at different times.

The program plans to follow an
80-20 model, with 80 percent of the time in kindergarten devoted to Spanish and 20 percent in English. The amount of time dedicated will continue to decrease yearly until there is a 50-50 balance by fifth grade.

The district is recruiting teachers qualified to teach in a Spanish-English environment.

Families of students entering first grade can attend an informational session at 6 p.m. Monday at Chesak Elementary, 10910 Reed Road. Families of incoming kindergartners will meet from 7 to 8 p.m. March 22 at Mackeben Elementary, 800 Academic Drive, and April 12 at Leggee Elementary, 13723 Harmony Road.

Registration for the program will start in June, and parents will be notified whether their child is selected by mid-June. Commitment forms will be due by the end of June.

Students who are identified as English language learners and qualify for bilingual instruction automatically will be placed into the program. Native English speakers will be entered into a lottery for the remaining spots.

For information, visit the district’s website at www.district158.org/

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