Audry is in first grade. Her parents do not speak much Spanish but want Audry to learn. When Audry comes to school in the morning, she starts out with Spanish Language arts. Audry learns Spanish by singing songs, doing dances, listening to books and writing with patterns every day. Her teacher has lots of experience with language acquisition and she knows that predictable and engaging activities are the key. After recess, Audry’s teacher introduces the math lesson in Spanish and then transitions into English. The rest of the day’s instruction is primarily in English. Since all of the teachers at the school are fluent in Spanish and have traveled to or lived in foreign countries, there may be Spanish conversations about a trip at lunchtime or speaking a bit of another language with a parent in the afternoon. Audry feels comfortable with cultures and history because of being part of such a broad-minded community.
Jacob is in 6th grade. His family is Greek and Mexican but he has just started learning Spanish this year. Jacob starts out the day with songs, videos, skits, and games in Spanish. When he switches over to English after an hour of Spanish, he is ready to work on his personalized learning goals. Every week, Jacob has a check-in meeting with his teacher to be sure he is progressing in ELA and math. Spring into Math and ST Math are both exciting ways for him to progress in math, and he uses these web-based curricula daily. During their check-in meeting, Jacob’s teacher offers him resources and uses learning style assessment to help identify the ways that he best learns. Jacob loves La Fuente because he feels supported by and known by all of the teachers with which he interacts. He especially enjoys hands-on FOSS Science activities on community days. He is beginning to take charge of his own learning. Jacob enjoys the opportunities to attend community events like beach days and seasonal events as a leader. Jacob’s mom is happy with Jacob’s progress and his increased confidence in such a supportive atmosphere.
Leo is in 1st grade and speaks Spanish fluently since his family recently came from Mexico. His parents enjoy the opportunity to be involved in Leo’s school community as Leo perfects his English and continues to advance in Spanish. Leo’s mom enjoys the free English classes for parents on Thursday evenings. Leo’s dad is able to volunteer his time to help with translations of emails from the principal. Leo enjoys being the superstar Spanish speaker during the Spanish Language Arts part of the day, and he feels comfortable enough to laugh at his mistakes as he learns English during the allotted time.
Ayla and Deji are twin sisters in 4th grade. Their mom decided to enroll the girls at La Fuente when she heard about the Dual Language Program and the small program size. Both girls are reading above grade level in English, and are quickly gaining ground in Spanish with the help of their teacher. Their morning is spent learning to read and write in Spanish by reading and writing about familiar English stories that have been translated. After recess, they transition into speaking English during math instruction and then Language Arts after lunch. Although girls enrolled mid-year, Ayla and Deji were welcomed by other students and began to pick up Spanish right away. They have learned, as part of the La Fuente community, that attitude is what counts in learning to communicate. They know to keep focused on what they do understand and work around what they don’t understand. Their parents know that learning this now will help their children in communication throughout their lives.