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Baywood Elementary to offer classes in Spanish and English; school district approves second dual-immersion program

Posted at 12:56 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 22:01:43-04

Starting in 2020, kindergarten students at Baywood Elementary School in Los Osos will take classes like math, science and language in both English and Spanish.

On Tuesday, the San Luis Coastal Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a dual-immersion program that follows a 90-10 model where all students learn the regular curriculum, but in two languages.

Kindergarten is taught 90% in Spanish and 10% in English. First grade is taught 80% in Spanish and 20% in English and so forth until fourth grade when both languages are used 50/50. It will start with the kindergarten class in the 2020-21 school year, adding one grade level each year.

“The ultimate goal is for them to graduate, finish sixth grade completely bilingual in both languages and at or above grade level in both languages,” said Rick Mayfield, San Luis Coastal Unified School District Director of Learning and Achievement.

Following Pacheco Elementary School in San Luis Obispo and Georgia Brown in Paso Robles, Baywood Elementary is the third school in the county to implement classes in both Spanish and English.

District officials say priority will be given to the following:

  • Students who live within the Baywood school boundary
  • Younger siblings of current Baywood students
  • Coastal primary Spanish-speaking/English-learning students

Students within the Del Mar and Monarch Grove boundaries may apply to Baywood or Pacheco.

According to the district, about 160 students out of the nearly 600 students enrolled in Pacheco’s dual immersion program are from the coast.

The district says they aim to accept half English native speakers and half Spanish native speakers.

A lottery takes places if there are more applicants than open spots, and the district says the wait list keeps growing.

In May, the principal of Baywood Elementary said educational leaders are working with staff and the district to make sure everyone is accommodated, but the district did say there will be some turnover.

The district says teachers, especially in younger grades, will still have an opportunity to work in the district or get a bilingual teaching credential with grant money.

Education experts say buses would be provided for students who need transportation.

If you would like to read general comments, concerns and board discussion on the dual-immersion program, click here.