Advanced Spanish Language Program FAQ's
Will the elementary Dual Language Program be continued?
There are no plans to discontinue elementary dual language programs.
Will the elementary Spanish Immersion Program be continued?
There are no plans to discontinue this elementary program of choice. LISD is pleased to be one of a small number of districts in North Texas to provide this type of enrichment language program at select elementary schools.
Why is a content-specific program not being offered at middle school campuses?
Information previously provided indicated the middle school program was expected to mirror the elementary program. As the program continued to develop, we discovered maintaining staffing necessary to continue in this manner would not be sustainable across all middle schools offering the program, due to the lack of secondary teachers that have a bilingual certification and content area certification.
What is the district doing to increase retention and recruitment efforts for hiring bilingually certified staff?
The recruitment of certified bilingual staff is a challenge across Texas and the United States. Even still, the percentage of diverse staff in Lewisville ISD has climbed from 10% to 16% over the past 5 school years. To increase interest of certified bilingual staff in Lewisville ISD, we commit to the following strategies:
- Continue to advertise Lewisville ISD as an employer in traditional and social media aimed at diverse audiences.
- Continue to enhance professional relationships with colleges and universities across the state that produce bilingual and minority candidates.
- Continue to attend local, regional and statewide employment fairs to connect with bilingual and minority candidates.
What type of success rate do middle school 8th grade students currently have on the AP Spanish 4 exam?
On an AP exam students can score a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. In 2016, 72% of 8th graders who took the AP Spanish 4 exam earned a 3, 4, or 5. According to the College Board, many colleges and universities grant credit and placement for scores of 3, 4 or 5; however, each college decides which scores it will accept.
What are the benefits of AP courses?
According to the College Board, by taking an AP course and scoring successfully on the related AP Exam, you can save on college expenses. Most colleges and universities nationwide offer college credit, advanced placement, or both, for qualifying AP Exam scores. These credits can allow students to save college tuition, study abroad or secure a second major. Taking an AP course, the most rigorous courses high schools have to offer, lets colleges and universities know that your student has what it takes to succeed in an undergraduate environment. When admissions officers see “AP” on a transcript, they know that what they experienced in a particular class has prepared them well for the challenges of college.
Is the Spanish 3 PreAP course in middle school the same course as the Spanish 3 PreAP at the high school?
No, the middle school course is designed specifically for Spanish Speakers that are coming with significant language experiences.
UPDATED Sept. 2, 2016
Are any current students losing services?
It is important to remember that the largest numbers of students who are either in a Dual Language or Spanish Immersion program are currently 4th graders or younger. The changes explained by the district does not change a program that was already implemented and in progress. Only one middle school out of five that were offering a program last year is impacted by any change, the other 3 programs remain unchanged for current middle school students.
How will these changes impact students enrolled in the program?
The program consistently offered across the district was already PreAP/AP Spanish, which is unchanged by the information shared with parents. Until this school year only four middle schools received students who have participated in an elementary Dual Language program, as students who participate in Spanish Immersion and other elementary Dual Language programs have not yet reached middle school age.
Is there any dual-language instruction at the middle school level in LISD?
As stated earlier, there were only four middle schools receiving students from elementary Dual Language programs last school year. Three out four of those schools have been providing a PreAP/AP Spanish program, so for those students there is no change in what is being offered. Three years ago there were three middle schools that piloted offering a content area course in Spanish in addition to PreAP/AP Spanish courses. Last school year only Killian MS still had content area courses in 6th and 7th grade in addition to PreAP/AP Spanish. In June, the Killian teachers in the content area courses taught in Spanish pursued other job opportunities. Therefore the Killian MS program beginning with this school year consists of PreAP/AP Spanish only. Parents of incoming 6th graders who were impacted by these staffing changes were notified in June of this change.
What LISD is doing to attract and retain bilingual teachers?
Since, the 1990s the area of bilingual certified teachers has been submitted by Texas to the U.S. Department of Education as an area of shortage. The shortage of bilingual teachers is not specific to LISD, but is a statewide issue. Jobs are always posted with bilingual in the title and last year our Employee Services department went to job fairs that had bilingual attendees and also visited colleges and universities that have significant numbers of bilingual teachers in their population.
If the number of bilingual teachers available increased, could the middle school program change? Or if the number of bilingual teachers decreased, would the elementary program be significantly changed?
As addressed above bilingual teacher shortages are a statewide job market challenge at both elementary and secondary. As indicated in the materials provided to parents the district is not planning on changes to the elementary programs.