Orange Unified School District will be opening a new dual immersion program next fall; it will be their second one. The district is one of two school districts in Orange County to offer a Mandarin dual immersion program. The other dual immersion program is in Laguna Niguel at Bergeson Elementary in the Capistrano Unified School District. The dual immersion program in Orange Unified now has classes from kindergarten to fourth grade and has plans to expand to high school in the ensuing years. The school, Fletcher Elementary, follows a 50/50 model of instruction where half of the time is spent learning in Mandarin and the other half of the day is spent in English.
The new dual immersion program will open in 2015-16 at California Elementary School. The target language for this new program will be Spanish and will follow the 50/50 model where half of the day will be taught in Spanish and the other half will be in English. The new Spanish Immersion Academy or iInspire Academia will also be part of an exclusive one to one iPad academy where all students will have access to iPads for enhanced learning of new content in Spanish. This program also intends to expand to high school.
These two schools accept students residing within and outside the school district boundaries. Residents from other school districts can apply to enroll their children in either dual immersion program. The necessary forms will need to be completed at the home school district and with Orange Unified. For more information, contact the schools for tours and informational meetings that are held during the year.
If you have a child that is not yet attending school, it is best to start researching schools when they are 3 or 4 years old. Many dual immersion schools and programs have long waitlists and I’m sure this new program will too. They are already accepting applications for a second kindergarten class.