Spanish-English education registration to start
By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent
Latino families and their preschool-age children will be able to start seeing dual language education (Spanish and English) this fall through Toledo Public Schools (TPS) as a Head Start pilot program, with a K-2 English-Spanish option to be added in the 2015-16 academic year.
There will be four preschool classrooms at the TPS Summit Center, 306 Bush St. (the old Riverside Hospital and Summit YMCA site). Two of the classrooms will be TPS preschool programs, while the other two will house Lucas County Head Start. At least one of those Head Start classrooms will be a dual language program, which will be taught by licensed, bilingual teachers.
The Head Start program that will serve East Toledo also will be housed at the Summit Center. Adelante, Inc. also may have a presence at the Summit Center, in order to better serve not just preschool children, but also the wide-ranging needs of Spanish-speaking families.
In a dual language format, there are an equal number of English and Spanish speaking students in the classroom. The goal is that all students become fluent in both languages, over time. But the students are taught literacy and content in both languages. Class time is split between the two languages so it is hoped that students encourage each other to become proficient in their bilingual skills and learn the culture.
“Transportation will be provided, on a case-by-case basis, but available to all children who need it,” said Dr. Amy Allen, TPS Transformational Leader of Early Childhood and Special Education.
The current TPS plan involves adding the K-2 Spanish immersion school at Franklin Elementary starting in the 2015-16 academic year. TPS officials will add a grade each year through eighth grade, then possibly transition students to Waite High School. A community survey will be conducted in both English and Spanish to gain input from the Latino community. A community meeting also is planned at some point in the future.
A three-day recruitment fair to register both TPS Preschool and Lucas County Head Start families for the 2014-2015 school year is scheduled Tuesday, July 15, 2014 through Thursday, July 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. The fair will be held at the Early Childhood Office in the former DeVilbiss High School, 3301 Upton Ave. Parents are asked to enter through Door 12, adjacent to the expressway. Time slots can be made by calling 419.671.8756.
Parents hoping to sign up their children should bring the following documents:
· Birth Certificate
· Three (3) Proofs of Residency (utility bills, etc.)
· Photo ID
· Household Family Income Verification
· Medical Insurance Card (Head Start only)
· Custody Papers, if applicable
An open house and registration opportunity also is planned for Saturday, July 12, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Toledo SMART Elementary, 1850 Airport Hwy., a new K-2 charter school opening this fall that will teach core subjects in both Spanish and English, hoping to help students to polish their bilingual skills. The school is aimed at both Spanish-speaking families and parents who want their children to become bilingual. More information can be obtained by calling 419.276.0605.