RDLS PTSO Meeting Notes - 2/21/2012

Post date: Feb 29, 2012 4:32:12 AM

Amity Scholar update – Karen Sherman

  • Karen would like to continue having people sign up to spend time/days with Clara between now and June when she will be heading back to Spain. Her English skills have improved significantly since she came to RDLS.

  • Thank you to the Robitailles for housing Clara for 2nd semester.

Culver’s Night- Tuesday, February 28, 5-8pm

  • Steve passed around a clipboard for volunteer sign-up. Would like 4 volunteers per hour.

RDLS Transition – Sra. Marta Shahsavand, Brian Zambreno (RMS Principal), Kate Trewick (District Office), Emily Palmer (RMS Asst. Principal)

    • Marta, Brian, Kate and Emily shared a powerpoint presentation during the meeting that covered some topics relating to continuing the dual language program into Richfield Middle School. The plan is still under development and they are open to suggestions and ideas from other parents. We hope to provide a link to this presentation shortly. In the meantime, some of the highlights are below.

  • Creating the middle school program will be a process over the next 1 ½ years before the RDLS students arrive and the program will continue to build out over the following 3 years.

  • Brian previously worked at Highland Junior High in St. Paul, one of the first immersion programs in Jr High/Middle School and has a good appreciation for the importance of dual language immersion

  • The goals for all students participating in a dual language program are:

    • High proficiency in both languages

    • high academic biliteracy

    • cross-cultural competence and understanding

    • increased cognitive development via bilingualism and biliteracy

  • Recommended Spanish:English ratios (instruction time) are:

    • 90:10 in K-1

    • 70-30 in 2-3

    • 50:50 in 4-5

    • 30:70 in 6-8

  • RMS currently has a 7-period day:

    • 4 Core classes: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

    • 2 Exploratory or Elective classes (PE, Health, Music, GT, AVID, etc)

      • 1 S.M.A.R.T period (Specialized Math and Reading Time)

    • Nationwide, most middle school programs offer 2 classes taught daily in the target language. Most commonly, a Spanish Language Arts Class (in addition to English Language Arts) and a Core class are taught in Spanish.

    • 6th grade teachers are licensed for elementary which means they can teach many different subjects so staffing is easier for that grade. It gets tougher for 7-8 because the teachers have more specialized licenses.

    • Right now there are several teachers in RMS (17) who are proficient with Spanish orally but not all of them have the academic Spanish skills. A few are truly bilingual (one of these is the outreach worker so he is not in the classroom). However, the school is growing at a rate that will allow us to bring in more teachers who are bilingual without losing current teachers.

    • Current ‘Draft’ Plan and Next Steps:

    • Spanish Language Arts class offered as an Elective

      • One Core class offered in Spanish

      • Dual language students on all 3 teams (6th grade), with full access to G/T, Enriched Math, etc.

    • We should to talk to the kids to see how they would feel about trading an elective (such as band or choir) for Spanish Language Arts.

  • Possible schedule:

    1. Math

    2. English Language Arts

    3. Social Studies (potentially Spanish)

    4. Science (potentially Spanish)

    5. Spanish Language Arts (Non-Core)

    6. Exploratory Class (Music, Art, PE, Tech, etc)

      1. SMART (Specialized Math and Reading Time) period (G/T, AVID, etc).

    • Non-dual language students would have two Exploratory classes. Exploratory runs every other day for 80 minutes. If a student chooses Band or Choir, they are more locked into their schedule.

    • Timeline and Next Steps:

      • Budget for 2012-2013 will determine if we can add a bilingual 6th grade Core teacher a year in advance.

      • Determine licensure required for SLA class and whether any current teachers qualify and are interested.

      • Transition Advisory Group formed with members from RDLS and RMS.

      • Prospective family tour, Tuesday, May 1st at 9 AM. Call office to RSVP. If you cannot make it on this day they can schedule tours at other times.

    • Formation of Transition Advisory Group

      • Administrators, RDLS teacher(s), RMS teacher(s), RDLS parents

      • This group will inform administrative decision-making during program development and implementation.

  • Want commitment of Dual Language families to Richfield Schools K-8 if we are going to dedicate the resources to build out the program. We will need to have a good number of committed students in order for the school to commit to a full program with 2 classes per day in Spanish.


The presentation from the 2/21/12 PTSO meeting has been attached below. Please note the following:

    • The first part of this presentation includes key findings from the research that has been conducted regarding the elements of successful programs in other schools.

    • The second part of the presentation is a DRAFT of what the program might look like at RMS. However, the Transition Advisory Group (which will include administrators, RDLS teachers, RMS teachers and RDLS parents) will be responsible for making the final decisions about the program.