Visalia Unified launches inaugural dual immersion program

Mountain View Elementary in Visalia launched the district's first-ever Dual Immersion Program.
VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Mountain View Elementary in Visalia launched the district's first-ever Dual Immersion Program.

"It's working! You go outside and see them knowing the word 'bano' for example, they know where the restroom is or being able to say 'Hola, Buenos Dias'," said Principal Amy Jones.

In two Kindergarten classrooms at Mountain View Elementary, students from across the district participate in their VISTA Dual Immersion Program.

The program was planned before and during the pandemic.

"We did a lot of training. We talked to a lot of people. We visited other modules. So, we really wanted to make sure that we picked the pieces that would be of best fit for Visalia Unified," said Jones.

Little ones are learning Spanish and English through a 90/10 program, allowing them first to build a solid foundation in Spanish.

"By second grade, it ramps us to 80/20 and then 70/30, and by 4th grade, it's a 60/40, and in 5th and 6th grade, it's a true 50/50 program."

Kindergartener Zoey said she already has her numbers and a few words locked down just three weeks into school.

"Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco," said Zoey in Spanish.

Jones hopes this program will better prepare students for their future and wants to remind parents there are still some spots available for anyone interested.

"The opportunities are so abundant being bi-literate means you are able to read, write, speak, listen, participate, problem solve. All of those things in two languages, and that's our goal," said Jones.

She hopes more schools within the district will join them in years to come.

Click here for more details on the program.

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