12 months by September 1, 2021 (2, 3, or 5 days)
As The Preschool advances in its mission of serving the whole child in developmentally appropriate learning settings, we are ever cognizant of implementing programs that are meaningful, intentional, and relevant to our community of families and students. The Preschool is also an advocate and a leader in our field, ensuring that all children enter kindergarten with the fundamental foundational social and academic skills they need to succeed. The Preschool stands committed to strengthening our programs and educational philosophy by following research-based recommendations for best practices and curriculum in early childhood education.
Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, The Preschool will offer a specialized world-language program commonly referred to as Dual Language Immersion (DLI). The program will begin at the Toddler age level, advancing through Pre-K, and will operate according to the 50/50 model, where students spend half of their day learning in English and the other half in Spanish. Recent research shows that "early bilingualism offers no disadvantages; on the contrary, young bilinguals may be afforded a linguistic and a reading advantage" (Petite, 2009, p. 193). There is perhaps no better a time to introduce a second language to a child than at this young age. While DLI will undoubtedly benefit students' language development and academic readiness, it also specifically serves our community of families as they plan for the years following preschool.
Located in Buckhead, many Preschool students matriculate into the North Atlanta cluster of Atlanta Public Schools (APS). The Dual Language Immersion program began in APS in 2013 and continues to grow, expanding to more campuses each year and developing strategic plans for advancement into upper grades. One of The Preschool's priorities is to meet requirements that establish our DLI program as a feeder program to the APS DLI lottery for kindergarten. As such, The Preschool administration has counseled with the APS English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and World Languages department to gather a blueprint and landscape for our program. The Preschool is committed to partnering and commits to ensuring that a qualified, Spanish-speaking, certified teacher is partnered with a highly qualified English-speaking teacher to provide an exceptional instructional curriculum in both languages and to promote authentic Spanish language, rather than translated text. A lottery system will determine admission into our Dual Language Immersion program.
Pettite, L.A. (2009). New discoveries from the bilingual brain and mind across the lifespan: Implications for education. Brain, Mind, and Education, 3, 193.
"Children who are immersed in dual language programs during the early grades gain the most benefit not only throughout their education journey, but throughout life. The ability for a child to process multiple languages leads her to not only be bilingual, but bi-literate and bicultural."
-Dr. Karen Ortiz