The South Country School District officially celebrated the opening of its Dual Language Magnet Program at Brookhaven Elementary School on Sept. 4th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by district administration, Board of Education trustees, faculty and community residents. The magnet program will now allow all district students beginning in kindergarten the opportunity to learn core subjects in both English and Spanish, becoming bilingual and biliterate through fifth grade.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani said, “We are thankful to so many of our school community, who have contributed to our past successes, and we are very excited about our future successes under our new school leadership and teacher leaders.”
Brookhaven Elementary School has offered dual language instruction since 2015 to its students who reside in the school zone of Brookhaven Hamlet. The Dual Language Magnet Program, now offered to students districtwide, will allow Spanish-speaking students to learn English and English-speaking students learn Spanish. Under the new model, two teachers will simultaneously instruct students in both languages. Principal Dr. Rebecca Raymond explained that accessibility to dual language instruction commences with kindergarten and will expand by one grade level each year.
“This was a vision since four years ago and it is humbling to see how the program has grown,” Dr. Raymond said. “I believe the program will further bridge the community together.”
Board of Education President Cheryl A. Felice thanked the community for “seeing the mission through.” She added, “This could not have been accomplished without a team effort.”
Brookhaven Elementary School students Anastasia Blanco and Naomi Schindler-Schul were also on hand to assist the district with the ribbon-cutting and to speak with the community as well as peers about their experiences in the dual language program.
(courtesy of South Country School District)