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Three Casper-area Schools Showing Interest in Dual-Language Immersion

Wyoming Dual-Language Immersion Steering Committee parent representative Thea True-Wells discusses dual-language immersion with parents at a Thursday meeting. – Anthony Pollreisz, K2 Radio

Natrona County School District officials say three Casper-area elementary schools have expressed interest in possibly accommodating a proposed dual-language immersion pilot curriculum for the 2013-2014 school year.

Natrona County School District associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction Mark Mathern says Fort Caspar Academy, Paradise Valley Elementary and Park Elementary have shown curiosity toward the proposed curriculum.

“We sent out an information note and asked our principals if any of the principals and their staffs would be interested in pursuing the idea of dual-language immersion – not committing to it, but looking more deeply into it,” Mathern said.

If enough parents are interested, and if funding is approved by the Natrona County School District’s board of trustees, parents will have the option to elect their kindergartener into the curriculum. The child will then learn in either Spanish or Mandarin Chinese for half of their school day.

Mathern says the administration at Fort Caspar Academy, Paradise Valley Elementary and Park Elementary are responding to numerous requests from interested staff and parents.

“Some of the staff and some of the parents have seen dual-language immersion programs function in other parts of the country, and they’ve either come from one of those experiences or have seen one of those situations,” Mathern said. “They’re saying, ‘You know, we ought to look into this.’”

Mathern says at least 32 or 34 parents need to express interest for the school board to consider approval.

Casper Dual Immersion is holding a series of informational meetings about DLI through the month of February. More information about those meetings can be found here.

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