Parents may soon have the option to opt their children into certain curriculum changes at Natrona County School District schools as early as next school year.

At its bi-weekly meeting Monday night, The Natrona County School District’s board of trustees heard from a committee aiming to implement dual-language immersion into district elementary, middle and high school curriculums.

In the proposal, dual-language immersion students would spend half of their school day learning in a foreign language.

Mark Peterson, a chairperson with the Wyoming Dual-Language Immersion Steering Committee, says, though the program is perhaps not for every student, dual-language immersion has several benefits.

“If you compare students that are in dual-language immersion now to English-only students, the dual-language immersion students are going to be bilingual and biliterate, they’re going to have global awareness and global competence and they’re going to be more marketable,” Peterson said.

Peterson says, aside from start-up expenses, making the switch to dual-language immersion shouldn’t increase district expenditures. He also says dual-language immersion is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to teach a child a new language.

If adopted by the school board, parents will have the option to opt their child into Spanish or Mandarin Chinese immersion programs.

More information on dual-language immersion can be found at the Casper Dual Immersion blog.