Inside the dual-immersion program at Flowery

The dual-immersion program in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District began in the 1998-99 school year with one kindergarten class, and has grown and flourished ever since. In 2013-14, the program is serving 488 students in grades K-8 at Flowery Elementary and Adele Harrison Middle schools.

Dual-immersion provides students with the opportunity to attain high levels of linguistic and academic proficiencies in Spanish and English.

The inception of the dual-immersion program in SVUSD occurred as a result of school-wide restructuring at Flowery. The need was identified to (1) restructure the school to provide greater opportunity and support for English language learner student achievement; (2) improve language proficiencies in Spanish and English; (3) increase parent involvement; and (4) increase the number of bilingual and language development certified teachers. The first dual-immersion class graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 2011.

The program has experienced varying periods of refinement at the elementary and middle school level over the past 15 years.

Flowery and Adele Harrison were each awarded $500,000 grants from the Foreign Language Assistance Program over the 2006-10 school years. Specific goals were outlined to expand and upgrade the program at each level. The bulk of the funds were used to purchase more books and curriculum for Spanish language arts, provide teachers with opportunities for professional development, increase articulation between sites, purchase new technology, and create networking opportunities to share best practices among local dual immersion schools in the surrounding area. The grants also funded a dual immersion coordinator at each site.

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