Letter: Save Oswego's Dual Language Program

A parents makes the case for keeping the program in place.

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
Recently, the community has learned that the District 308 is planning to dismantle our Dual Language program.
As a concerned parent, I look to Naperville School District 203, which has strong academic reputation and has proved to be a leader in the educational community. I wanted to share the web page that they have dedicated to promoting their Dual Language program. I have highlighted a few key points and, as a voting and active member of this community, I urge you to read what they have to say. 

While doing so, please note that they have expanded their program over the course of the last 7 years. I found this information as I looked to find what area we will need to move to in order to keep our children in a dual language program. It saddens me to think that our district leaders, and BOE members would dismantle a program that has been embraced by a well-respected neighboring district, as well as all the parents who have children in the program. 

Do you really think parents would fight so hard to keep a program if they thought is was failing their children? Do you think there would be a waiting list every year to gain access to the program through a lottery if the community as a whole did not see the value in it?  

Please consider reaching out to their administrators to gain guidance in helping to meet the needs of modifying the program rather than dismantling it. Visit our classrooms and see first-hand what the program looks like so you can fully understand that our kids are learning, achieving and becoming bilingual, bi-literate and bi-cultural.

This program is a commitment. The results do not happen in a year or two. That is why, as parents, we were asked to give a 6 year commitment to the program when our children entered.

The program will show results, they will read, write and think in two languages, but this does not happen by 2nd grade, or 3rd grade. However, go into the Jr.High social studies class or the Heritage Language class and watch as Native English speakers and Native Spanish speakers can read, write and think in BOTH languages with such fluency that you will know the district has helped foster something amazing!

Please look at the information on Dist. 203's website. I encourage you to reach out to them and find a way to make our program stronger, larger and more encompassing of our entire district, rather than take away one of the best programs our district has ever had the courage to embrace.

Shelli Kelsey
(Parent to 3 students in DL)
Walt Hines May 24, 2014 at 10:45 AM
As I understand from the calls I made Friday this program requires money from the state that's being cut. Money allocated to this dist. by the state is being cut, once again. An operating referendum would need to be brought to the tax-payers and approved to keep 308 in it's present state of operations. The BOE will be making future operations public notice here shortly.........
Scott Vancura May 24, 2014 at 01:21 PM
I also want to add, the students in the DL program, us parents had to attend two manditory meetings, and sign a "letter of intent" to stay with the program. We were asked by the district to make a commitment to the program. One could say, that dismantling the program could be a breach of contract of sorts and set the district up for a costly law suit. We are not asking for MORE money in any way, not asking for anything more than leaving the program as it is to fufill the commitment we parents made to the district. To make things clear, again we are not asking for anything MORE we are not asking for uniforms, helmets, protective gear, fields and maintenance of those fields, we are asking the district to KEEP TEACHING these students in the best way to have these CHILDREN succede, and bringIindustry to Oswego. 30% of all CEO'S of major corporations speak more than one language. Please check out the website worldclass308.com. education is all we are asking for, plus I must note also these DL teachers do not make more money than any other teacher I the district, and they are doing the job of teacher, AND resource teacher so these programs clearly save money. Teachers will need to be hired to pull these children out of class to work on english, then send them back to class, the burden this will put on the teacher in a traditional class would be huge. These children will constantly need help to keep up, this is a huge distraction to the rest of the class, needless to say embarrassing to the student. Please educate yourself and the major benifits this program has for ALL the students in our school district.
Oswego Mom May 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM
I find it interesting - that with as much buzz and activity surrounding this matter - the local press is mute. Has the PR office at the district asked them not to report on it? People who have children in the program, people who are entering the program for the first year, people who have to organize transportation for their kids and activities DESERVE ANSWERS -- that are not coming from the district - what gives ??
Meta Damm Mueller May 26, 2014 at 09:07 PM
I have a real problem with a school board that RAN for office yet can't take the time to actually visit a classroom in the district they represent. If you can't take the time to learn about the schools, why do you expect to represent them?


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