By Nancy Gutierrez
At the Lindsay Unified School District meeting Monday, June 7, board members approved the adoption of several Spanish language textbooks that will be used for the new Dual Immersion classes at Steve Garvey Junior High School.
The textbooks include, La Historia Mundial to be used in world history, Exploria El Mundo to be used for geography classes, and Serie Siglo XXI for a language elective class. There were also two spanish version books for algebra I and pre-algebra. All textbooks are part of the Spanish instructional materials to be used in the Dual Language classes starting fall 2004. The text books were reviewed and approved by the Garvey Junior High School site council and recommended by Garvey Junior High School staff.
The board asked Dual Immersion Program Director Robert Forbes about the ability of the students in these Spanish only classes meeting state standards. Forbes said consideration was made to align, as close as possible, the textbook content with those used in regular English taught courses at Garvey.
"The teachers know the essential standards that students need to meet," Forbes said. "So students continue to do good work."
LUSD is only the third district in California to take the Dual Immersion program to the junior high school level. Board member Jim WIlliams said he was glad to see teachers and schools stay committed to the program and increase its reach to the junior high school.
Two teachers have been transferred to the junior high from Washington school to teach the classes. Adriana Franco will teach an algebra course. Mariela Ruiz will teach the Spanish elective class, a social studies class and the English class.
Forbes said the teachers will participate in summer training programs to develop course outlines so that the classes follow the same curriculum as other English taught core academic classes. The teachers in the program are not only fully qualified in their subject area -- Franco has a master's in math -- but they also have both received their Bilingual Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development (BCLAD). To get a BCLAD teachers must pass an oral and written test in their specified language as well as pass a test based on cultural aspects. Forbes said all of the teachers in the program have their BCLAD.
There are 28 students entering the junior high as Dual Immersion participants. Of the 28 nine are graduates of the elementary school program. The other 19 students had to pass a test demonstrating their fluency in Spanish and English. Students in the program will have three classes taught in English and three in Spanish their first year at Garvey. The following year they will have 65 percent of their instruction in English and 45 in Spanish.
Forbes said the Dual Immersion program supervisory committee has already begun working on the program for the high school.