Anderson Elementary Dual Language Classes

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District 303 Board of Education
201 S. 7th Street, St. Charles, IL 60174
Attention: Dr. Kristin Raitzer, Area Assistant Superintendent K-5

Dear Members of the Board,
I am writing to you on behalf of many parents here at Anderson Elementary School. We would like to request that dual language classes or foreign language enrichment classes be offered at Anderson Elementary School starting next school year 2017-2018.
We are asking you, the Board, to put this change forward to better prepare our children for the world that will await them when they graduate high school.
We ask for this to be implemented for all grade levels. The foundation is already set at Anderson Elementary School due to the English Language Learner programs and classrooms. We request that you allow the rest of our children the amazing benefits that happen when learning a second language as an elementary aged child. The United States is the only country that I know of that does not insist on our young children learning a second language. This is very concerning, since there are a multitude of studies, data and articles that have been around for years stating all the benefits, and no downsides, to this area of education. Our neighboring districts have implemented Dual Language Programs with much success. We understand that the language being offered would be Spanish, which only makes sense as it is the second most commonly spoken language in our country.
It is becoming apparent that knowing a second language in the working world is not only a benefit, it is a necessity. By not starting our children at the youngest ages possible, we are only setting them up for failure when they become adults. Being bilingual is a benefit in all jobs today; it will only grow more important when our children graduate. Waiting to introduce them to a second language in middle school or high school is setting them up for failure. Elementary aged children are better able to interpret such information naturally, give them a new understanding on multiple ways to approach problems and allow their neurons to build pathways that would not be there otherwise. Whether the board decides to implement an 80-20 or 50-50 split in the classroom, the studies show that the children will easily adapt and thrive in a much shorter amount of time because they have not been taught/shown/or told otherwise.
When I discussed the opportunity with Principal Gonzales and several bilingual educators, they all expressed excitement to introduce this program to our students. This will be an easy transition because the framework is already in place and the bilingual teachers will not have to adjust greatly to accommodate for the new students.
We parents would also request that adult language classes initially be offered as well, so as to keep up with our children and push the level of learning within the homes. Again, studies show in every level of education, that involved parents help their children thrive and succeed.
We know that the Board, is as dedicated to the education of our students as we the parents are. We are excited to work with you in expanding the opportunities given to the students of not only Anderson Elementary, but to all the schools in District 303. Implementing such a change, the Board will be known for forward thinking and truly understanding the need to prepare our students for their not too far off futures.
We truly appreciate your understanding and help on removing this educational block for all our children.
Sincerely,
The Parents of Anderson Elementary School

Acting PTO President Carrie Needham



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