What is Dual Language Immersion?
Dual Language Immersion Programs (“DLIP”) are structured so that students receive instruction in two languages, English and a “target” language. Students cover the same academic standards as their counterparts in the general education program, and take the same state assessments (in English). The goal of the DLIP is for students to become not merely bilingual but biliterate – able to read and write as well as speak properly in both English and the target language.
PUSD currently offers Spanish, Mandarin and French DLIPs, using the “90/10” model. Students start the program in kindergarten with 90% of instruction being given in the target language, and 10% in English. Each year, the balance shifts until by 4th grade they are receiving half their instruction in each language. PUSD also offers pre-Kinder programs using the DLIP model, but these are neither a prerequisite nor a guarantee of being admitted to the DLIP. (See DLIP Master Plan for details.)
DLIP programs are located on the following PUSD campuses:
Spanish-English: San Rafael, Jackson STEM Magnet, and Jefferson Elementary; Blair IB Secondary School (6-12) and Washington STEAM Middle School (beginning August 2018)
Mandarin-English: Field Elementary; Sierra Madre Middle School, Pasadena High School
French-English: Altadena Elementary
The first class of DLIP students start 9th grade in 2017; the district is committed to continuing both DLIPs through high school – Spanish (and most likely French) at Blair, Mandarin at Pasadena High School – with graduates of the programs receiving a Seal of Biliteracy with their high school diploma.
Who can enroll and how?
The entry point for DLIP is kindergarten. (Students wishing to enter a DLIP at 1st grade or above must take an assessment and demonstrate a level of proficiency in the target language that will enable them to be successful.) Anyone in the district can apply to a DLIP through the Open Enrollment process. Students living within a half-mile of Altadena, San Rafael, Jackson, Jefferson or Field are given preference in the open enrollment lottery, but are not guaranteed a spot.
Ideally, dual language program enrollment is balanced between native English speakers and students who start school already speaking the target language. When applying to enroll their child in a DLIP school, parents must indicate whether their child is or is not a native-speaker of the program language.
Out-of-district residents can submit an online “application of interest” during the late open enrollment window (typically in April). This can be used as the basis for requesting a release from the student’s home district, but is not a guarantee of admission into PUSD’s DLIPs. District residents have preference for PUSD programs, including DLIP. However, non-district residents may be given consideration to help meet the goal of balancing native-English and target language speakers in the entering class.
Families who apply but have not received a placement at one of their chosen schools by the end of the second lottery will be placed on a temporary wait-list for their first-choice school following the second lottery. Families that do not receive placements at their preferred Spanish-English DLIP school may be offered a seat at another program site.