Skip to main content

Dual Language Program for English and Spanish Speaking Students

LAUNCHING IN THE UPCOMING 2022-23 SCHOOL YEAR!


San Rafael City Schools is thrilled to launch our two-way dual language immersion program beginning with the 2022-23 school year! It is our vision that the SRCS Dual Language Program will provide an equitable, academically rigorous, enriching experience that values bilingualism, multiculturalism and community with the intention of maximizing the potential of tomorrow’s leaders.

Enrollment is open!

San Rafael City Schools has launched the enrollment process for the 2022-23 school year! Families who would like to enroll in the Dual Language Program can do so through the SRSC enrollment process.  

Enrollment information is available at www.srcs.org/enrollment. You can also contact the San Rafael City Schools enrollment office or the Venetia Valley School office, both which are listed below, to learn the details of how to join this exciting program designed to develop bilingualism and promote academic excellence for our English and Spanish speaking students!

SRCS Enrollment Office
415-492-3226, enrollment@srcs.org, 310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael

Venetia Valley School
415-492-31590, 177 N. San Pedro Rd, San Rafael

Enrollment Details:

  • Must speak either English or Spanish as a home language
  • Priority given to students in VV’s attendance area 
  • If interest exceeds capacity, enrollment may be determined by lottery
  • Commitment to K-5th dual immersion program
  • Must begin program in kindergarten (or TK or first grade if there is enough interest) 

   

Key Points
  • Designed to serve 50% native English speakers and 50% native Spanish speakers
  • Located at Venetia Valley TK-8 School (177 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael)
  • Beginning with Kindergarten (and potentially TK) for the 2022-23 year
  • Uses a 90/10 language allocation model. 
    • In Kindergarten, 90% of the instruction is in Spanish and 10% is in English.
    • By 5th grade, 50% is in Spanish and 50% in English.
  • In addition to the language skills, all curricular areas (math, science, social studies, enrichment) will be designed to support students in meeting grade level academic standards 
Program Model

The Dual Language Immersion Program is a two-way program, which means it is designed for native Spanish speakers and native English speakers to learn in the same classroom in a ratio of approximately 50:50 in each grade. Students will learn the same grade level content and standards as all SRCS elementary students and are expected to have reached academic proficiency in English and Spanish by 5th grade.

Goals
  • Bilingualism and Biliteracy: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiency in both Spanish and English
  • Academic Excellence: Academic excellence in all subject areas, meeting or exceeding district and state standards
  • Sociocultural Competence: Positive self-identities, cross-cultural competence, and agents for social change
Benefits
  • Academic: Promotes English and Spanish literacy and improves critical and logical thinking in math and content classes
  • Cognitive: Enhances reasoning skills, creativity, attention, and mental flexibility
  • Identity: Values home language and culture and promotes a positive self-identity
  • Economic: Employment and higher incomes 
Enrollment

Enrollment information is available at www.srcs.org/enrollment. You can also contact the San Rafael City Schools enrollment office or the Venetia Valley School office, both which are listed below, to learn more:

SRCS Enrollment Office
415-492-3226, enrollment@srcs.org, 310 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael

Venetia Valley School
415-492-31590, 177 N. San Pedro Rd, San Rafael

Enrollment Details:

  • Must speak either English or Spanish as a home language
  • Priority given to students in VV’s attendance area 
  • If interest exceeds capacity, enrollment may be determined by lottery
  • Commitment to K-5th dual immersion program
  • Must begin program in kindergarten (or TK or first grade if there is enough interest) 

Frequently asked questions

English time is carefully designed and implemented. It requires high quality instruction and curriculum. Research shows that when programs are fully implemented according to program design, native Spanish speakers in 90:10 models score as well or better on English tests than their peers in other programs and native English speakers perform just as well in English peers with the added benefit of bilingualism.

No. It is best if you read to your child in the language you use at home. As your child gains more literacy skills in the target language, you may ask him/her to read to you.
 

Some children may feel frustrated in the initial months of the program. This is completely normal and only temporary.

We ask that all families commit to the program for the full K-5th grade programs. Research indicates that this model leads to academic achievement and English proficiency to a greater degree than shorter programs.

What are the core values of the dual language programs? The core values of the dual language program are community, equity, and joy. The goals of the program are bilingualism, academic excellence, and social justice.

Does a two-way dual language program benefit our Language Learners? Yes, dual language programs that last from K-5th grade close the opportunity gap for native Spanish speakers from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Specifically, students in a two-way dual language program read in English at the level of their English only peers by 5th grade and begin to outperform their English only peers in middle school and throughout their academic careers. (Thomas & Collier 2002)  

ELs LONG-TERM ACADEMIC SUCCESS IN ENGLISH 
THOMAS & COLLIER’S GRAPH
English Native Average Readin

Does a two-way dual language program allow students the opportunity to become truly Bilingual?  Yes, the program is a 90:10 two-way dual language program built for grades K-5th. It will NOT be an early exit program. Continuing the program through 5th grade is necessary to develop long-term bilingualism for all students and to achieve significant improved academic outcomes for EL students. A benefit of the two-way program is that our Spanish speakers will develop full Spanish literacy (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), which will open more doors for them in the future than just listening or listening and speaking abilities will allow. As English speakers develop their bilingual brains, they will be more prepared to function in the global economy, and they will be less isolated from Spanish speaking residents of San Rafael, which will build community.    

The language allocation also supports bilingualism. The preferred model is 90:10 rather than 50:50 because Spanish proficiency is attained at higher rates in 90:10 as compared to 50:50 models. Research has shown that English language proficiency and reading achievement in English are comparable in 90:10 and 50:50 programs. Due to the benefits in partner language acquisition observed in 90:10 models, the TWDLI program will follow a 90:10 language allocation. Students will receive instruction in ratios as shown in the sidebar image.

Will the two-way dual language program integrate the school? Yes, a two-way dual language program may serve as a catalyst for English speaking families to opt into our public schools that have a majority of Spanish speaking families. Currently, we are seeing English speaking families typically leave the school district for private schools rather than attend a majority Spanish speaking school. We are making efforts to disrupt this behavior and bring the community together.

How would the program work toward closing the opportunity gap? Two-way dual language programs that last from K-5th grade close the opportunity gap for native Spanish speakers from low socioeconomic backgrounds by the time these students complete elementary school. On average, these students read in English at the level of their English only peers by 5th grade and begin to outperform their English only peers in English after middle school and throughout their academic careers. For additional information about the benefits of two-way dual language programs, see the Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education and the LAUSD EL Master Plan.

Would this program be the most effective way to close the opportunity gap? A two-way dual language program, with both English and Spanish speakers in the same classroom,  that lasts from grades K-5 closes the opportunity gap for EL students from low SES backgrounds by 5th grade and leads to higher performance overall. A one-way dual language program, serving only native Spanish speakers, that lasts from grades K-5 closes the opportunity gap by 7th grade. A two-way dual language program closes this gap faster than a one-way program. (Thomas & Collier 2002). Racial segregation is also linked to the opportunity gap, so developing a two-way dual language program as a catalyst for integration addresses a variable that is known to impact these academic disparities. 

Language Allocation

Home-School Collaboration

Family members support the program in the following ways:

  • Attend school orientation meetings
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Help prepare materials
  • Serve on Advisory Council
  • Join and support the PTA