Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WAIS included in article about Katy ISD trustees’ rejection of two-way immersion secondary program

Rodriguez said that while she knew the district only committed to TWI through fifth grade, she believed KISD would expand after observing how other districts have done so once their students reach the secondary level.
Next door Spring Branch ISD offers its own dual language program from elementary to high school. SBISD’s program is stationed at three elementary schools and two middle schools. Spring Branch also utilizes a district charter school, Westchester Academy for International Studies, for dual language education at the secondary level. Westchester allows students to complete the program through 12th grade, and did so well before Spring Branch began offering the program at middle schools. SBISD currently plans to expand their program to a traditional high school as well.
Superintendent Alton Frailey, who at one time worked as an assistant superintendent for SBISD, had a heavy hand in the creation of Westchester, leading the committee of parents and teachers who produced the idea of an international school. Frailey told The Rancher that forming Westchester was a means of accommodating students who “weren’t being well served by the district.” He said that such a campus was a possibility for SBISD because the district was completely built out and contained unused classroom space. Westchester, once a traditional high school, was repurposed after the district shut it down in 1985 due to decreasing enrollment. A charter school like Westchester would be an unlikely project for Katy ISD.
“We don’t have a school that’s not full of children already,” Frailey said. “You would have to replace a repurposed building.” Frailey indicated that regardless of what the board decided to do, Katy ISD would need to invest more resources to the district’s bilingual education department.
“This is a fast-growing population of our district, and we’ve gotten by with a skeletal crew,” Frailey said.

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