Starting with two kindergarten classrooms in the 2017-18 school year, Carpinteria Unified School District will launch a dual-language immersion program in which teachers instruct in Spanish for 90 percent of the school day and in English for 10 percent. As students move up, the ratio changes gradually, becoming 50/50 by 5th grade.
The concept is designed to produce bilingual students and, early on, to close the achievement gap for students going into kindergarten with little to no English skills. Studies have found that if English learners initially establish academic foundations in their native language, they become more successful overall.
On February 14, the Carpinteria Unified board also passed a resolution supporting students of any “race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, immigration status, age, gender, language, socioeconomic status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, medical condition or disability” as the nation goes through this “contentious political period,” according to the resolution.