Elementary schools to host open houses for Spanish immersion

Date Published: 
April 11, 2014

Young children are like sponges, soaking up knowledge quickly. That’s why the Indian River School District is teaching Spanish to kindergarteners at John M. Clayton and East Millsboro elementary schools.

Parents can learn about Spanish immersion at several open houses on April 14 and April 16.

“We’re hoping that they’re going to be able to see exactly what happens in the Spanish portion of the day, as well as the English portion,” said East Millsboro Principal Kelly Dorman.

Parents interested in enrolling their child in kindergarten may visit on either day to tour the immersion classrooms. No appointment is necessary, but visitors must bring a state-issued ID.

The schedule for tours is as follows:

• Monday, April 14 — East Millsboro Elementary 8:50 a.m., 10:05 a.m., 10:30 a.m.; John M. Clayton Elementary 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m.

• Wednesday, April 16 — East Millsboro Elementary 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m.; John M. Clayton Elementary 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

Students will spend half of each school day learning in English and the other half of the day learning in Spanish. They will continue with that format through fifth grade. They’ll then be eligible for advanced language programs in middle school and high school.

JMC and Millsboro are entering their second and first years of Spanish immersion offerings, respectively.

“Oh, it’s been great. It’s amazing to see our students from what they’ve done in September to what they do now,” said Dorman.

That includes speaking, reading and writing in a new language, plus regular growth as kindergarten students.

The open houses are designed to help relieve any parental concerns or confusion about the program.

“We have a lot of interest in our Spanish immersion,” Dorman said. “It’s a win for students and for us. It’s certainly a beneficial skill to have, especially when you think globally.”

Through such programs, it is hoped that today’s youth will graduate with fluent language skills in 12 years, keeping them competitive in the work force and education.

All students entering kindergarten in the Indian River School District in fall of 2014 are eligible to apply. English need not be their primary language. Parents who are interested in having their child considered for the Spanish immersion kindergarten class must complete and submit a School Choice application by May 16. (Forms are available online at www.irsd.net/pages/Indian_River_School_District or at the schools and the district office.)

For more information, contact JMC Principal Char Hopkins at (302) 732-3808 or East Millsboro Principal Kelly Dorman at (302) 934-3222.