Current Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 15:47:25 -0500
The new Frank Porter Graham Dual Language Magnet School is a welcome and needed addition to Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
The new magnet school will operate on a mixed Spanish-English curriculum — focusing on a 90/10 language model. This model would push students to speak 90 percent of the time using a foreign language. While programs like this are fairly new, it is clear that there are benefits both in school and later in life.
In an increasingly interconnected world, it is essential for the nation’s youth to learn more than one language.
In a school like the new Frank Porter Graham, students are forced to learn in a way that not only teaches a language, but teaches a different way of thinking about the world.
By learning to be proficient in reading, writing and speaking in two languages, students have the chance to gain a competitive advantage at a young age. Dual-language programs also give students the opportunity to develop the cultural knowledge needed to succeed in a diverse world.
The benefits of the new magnet school don’t stop at the students. Staff for the new program will receive special training that will help them develop innovative ways of teaching. This additional training could prove to be a way to attract more high-level talent to an already top-tier school system.
The school district should also be applauded for creating a transition team made up of parents and staff. It is essential for a new program like this to have the input of more than just the district administrators. By involving parents, the district can gain a new perspective on the transition.
The new program benefits students, teachers and the school district by providing a competitive advantage going forward.