self-contained classroom with 20 students fluent in English.
The ultimate goal of the program will be language proficiency and high
academic achievement in English and Spanish, according to project
coordinator Wendy Rios.
The program will begin with students entering kindergarten and will
continue through sixth grade. Edison will receive a grant of $300,000
each year for five years to participate in the new program.
"We get a large number of students with absolutely no English skills
coming here on a regular basis, and this will be an effective way to
address our non-English speakers," Rios said.
Kindergarten students who enter the program will be taught primarily
in Spanish by a credentialed teacher who is fluent in Spanish and
English. Only Spanish will be spoken during Spanish time.
In the first year, an average of 30 minutes of oral instruction in
English will be given to students in the program.
Every year, more English is added, until by fifth grade, instruction
is evenly divided between English and Spanish. Curriculum taught is
aligned with California state standards. The difference is that
curriculum is presented in both languages, Rios said.
Alice Petrossian, assistant superintendent of educational services for
the district, said the program will better prepare students for entering
a multicultural work force.
"Why not celebrate the beauty of learning multiple languages? And at a
young age, a child can acquire multiple languages easier," Petrossian
said. "I'd like to see us do similar things with Asian languages in the
Students still can enroll in the program. Enrollment is not limited to
Edison students, but students must be fluent in English or Spanish to
participate. For more information, call 241-1807.