BCSC gets $50,000 state grant

School district receives funding for dual-language immersion program

The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. has received a $50,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Education to help fund its dual-language immersion program.

The district plans to host the program at Clifty Creek Elementary School during the 2018-19 school year and would allow pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students to learn in a bilingual classroom.

The voluntary program would create classes made up of half native Spanish speakers and the other half native English speakers, said Laura Hack, BCSC’s director of elementary education.

BCSC school board members approved offering the program earlier this week. Under the program, students would be taught English and Spanish by a native Spanish speaker, while students would be immersed in Spanish for most of the day.

BCSC was among 10 school districts across Indiana that received funding from the state education department on Friday under the Indiana dual-language immersion pilot program. It provides grants to school corporations that establish or expand dual-language immersion programs in Mandarin, Spanish, French and others, according to the education department.

“Presenting students with opportunities to learn to communicate by multiple methods and in multiple languages prepares them for the 21st century world in which we live,” said Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction.

The Indiana General Assembly provided $1 million in this year’s legislative session over the next biennium to support dual-language immersion programs across the state, the education department said.

The grant funding awarded to BCSC will be used for planning, professional development and curriculum resources tied to the dual-language immersion program.

Parents interested in enrolling their children into the program would have to apply, Hack said. There would be no fees associated with the program.

BCSC plans to develop a planning team at Clifty Creek in August that will involve parents, teachers and administration member, said Gina Pleak, BCSC’s director of title services.

“We are excited to be one of the 10 school districts selected for this grant and even more excited to offer another pathway to our families,” Pleak said.

About the program

The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.’s dual-language immersion program will be offered at Clifty Creek Elementary School starting in the 2018-19 school year. Two classes will be offered for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students and will allow them to learn in a bilingual classroom.

Classes would be made up of half native Spanish speakers and the other half native English speakers under the voluntary program. Students would be taught English and Spanish by a native Spanish speaker, with students being immersed in Spanish for most of the day.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com