Mammoth’s Dual Immersion Program Prompts Controversy

Some 50% of Mammoth School students are Hispanic. Educators have worked on ways to teach in two languages. The Dual Immersion program filled the bill, but parents began to ask that this two-language teaching program expand into Middle mammid_schoolSchool. That did not happen, and last Thursday parents, pro and con, sounded off to the school board.

Close to 50 people packed the library for the meeting. In public comment time, parents spoke with insistence that they have long wanted teaching in both Spanish and English to expand into Middle School. Right now, students learn in both languages from Kindergarten to fifth grade.

Some emotional pleas asked school board members to intervene and order administrators to create Spanish and English teaching in Middle School. Parents with English-speaking children say they have benefited from learning Spanish. Other parents spoke just as passionately against that idea. They want school funds to go toward English teaching only.

Interim School Superintendent Rich McAteer said he did not realize parents expected the expansion of the Dual Immersion program for next year. He said he probably did not articulate this very well to parents. McAteer prefers to wait for the hiring of a new superintendent, elementary principal and middle school principal. This moves are very close.

McAteer did say that a consultant coming to the school this week will discuss choices and strategies. McAteer said that then the school board can look at these issues “longer term.” The issue of Dual Immersion classes in Middle School will go on the school board agenda for June 24th.

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