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SAISD spearheads rise in dual-language programs

San Antonio ISD is expanding the number of schools offering dual-language programs from two to 13 campuses for the 2017-18 school year.

SAISD’s ambitious plan to create more dual-language opportunities for its students is backed by research. Research supports the cognitive benefits children receive when they learn to read and write at grade level in a second language, along with their native language.

When students participating in English-Spanish dual-language programs have been followed across time, the research has shown they score higher than those in their native language that are not in the program – and native-Spanish speakers also scored as high as, or higher than, native English speakers not in the program (based on difficult national English Reading tests).

The academic benefits are there for both native English speakers and English learners.

One of the 13 campuses, Twain Dual Language Academy, an in-district charter, opens this August as the only 100 percent dual-language school in the city.  Dual language is embedded into the educational model—across the board and in every subject—so that every student benefits from the proven academic advantages that occur when native English and Spanish speakers come together to learn in the classroom.

SAISD’s goal is to eventually provide all English learners in the District the opportunity to participate in dual-language enrichment education.

This school year the following campuses will have a dual-language component. Most are neighborhood schools, but three schools* are open to students outside of SAISD:

Bonham Elementary *
Herff Elementary
Riverside Park Elementary
Highland Park Elementary
Carvajal Early Childhood
Collins Garden Elementary
Beacon Hill Elementary
Lamar Elementary *
Rogers Elementary
Wilson Elementary
Storm Elementary
Mark Twain Dual Language Academy *
Carroll Early Childhood

The District’s main objective is to lead our students into developing stronger cognitive and academic skills, which ties into one of our Pillars of Success—that of Academic Excellence. Through the intentional development of academic skills, on-level bilingualism and biliteracy, the District also hopes to cultivate students with higher levels of intercultural understanding and collaboration, skills that are necessary for success in a diverse, global society.