Bilingual education programs continue to expand in Dallas ISD, with 50 elementary schools offering two-way dual language programs and another eight proposed for the 2017-18 school year.

The program is so popular and, at some schools, spots are so competitive that the district has tied in the application period with its choice and magnet school applications, giving parents of next year’s pre-K, kindergarten and first-grade students until Tuesday, Jan. 31 to apply.

The new application process is a change for some schools, which may have had different application periods or admission processes in prior years. In the new system, siblings of students already enrolled in their home school’s dual language program will be given priority, and oversubscription will result in a lottery for the seats.

Several Preston Hollow and North Dallas elementary schools are now accepting two-way dual language applications for 2017-18. Some campuses have established immersion programs where students have been taught in both English and Spanish for years, such as Walnut Hill, DegolyerKramer and Nathan Adams (which is half immersion, half enrichment). Others have seasoned Spanish enrichment programs: Caillet and Withers.

A few programs have launched more recently to accommodate parent demand, such as Preston Hollow, K.B. Polk, Foster and Gooch. Plus, students can enroll as early as pre-K at Nathan Adams, Kramer and Walnut Hill; if families don’t qualify for free pre-K they can pay tuition.

Information sessions are taking place soon at Withers (Thursday, Jan. 19, 1 p.m.), Gooch (Thursday, Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m.), Nathan Adams (Thursday, Jan. 26, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.) and DeGolyer (Tuesday, Jan. 31, 6:30 p.m.). Several schools held their information sessions prior to the winter break, but a DISD spokeswoman says the district “strongly encourages” families to request a one-on-one session with the campus they are seeking entry to.
Our neighborhood also has dual language programs at the middle and high school levels. Students can apply at E.D. Walker and W.T. White, whose program is proposed to launch next fall, and must pass a Spanish fluency test to be admitted.

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