David D. Jones Spanish Immersion Magnet Program FAQs
Q. What is a Spanish Language Immersion Program?
A. Students develop native-like fluency in reading, writing, speaking and listening in Spanish. They also learn to think in a second language, which is a very high=level skill. All classes are taught in Spanish except for English instruction, which begins in 2nd grade.
Q. Who may apply for acceptance?
A. Any family in Guilford County who wants their child to become bilingual and wants an exciting and rigorous academic challenge may apply. ESL services are not available at Jones, so prospective students must already know enough English to not require ESL. Only kindergarteners and beginning 1st graders are accepted in the program.
Q. Will I be able to help my child with homework?
A. Definitely! Teachers make sure students understand and write down every assignment. If they need help at home, students can translate the assignment for parents.
Q. What are the teachers’ requirements?
A. Immersion teachers must have a North Carolina teaching license or its equivalency and have native or near-native Spanish fluency.
Q. How quickly do students become fluent?
A. By the end of the kindergarten, students understand almost everything their teachers are saying and are beginning to read and write in Spanish. By the end of fifth grade, they can converse and communicate with native-speakers. They are proficient in reading and writing and can do grade-level academic work in Spanish.
Q. Will my child learn English, too?
A. Beginning in 2nd grade, students receive daily students receive daily instruction by a certified English teacher. All second graders are screened for English proficiency at the beginning of the year and more than 95% of them are already reading on grade level in English.
Q. How do the students perform on state tests that are all given in English?
A. Our immersion students typically score as highly proficient on the State’s end-of-grade tests.
Q. What about math, science and other subjects?
A. Immersion students follow the same curriculum that is taught in all other Guilford County schools. Spanish is the medium through which they are taught, not the object of instruction. Students also have full access to art, music, PE, classroom computers and an updated technology lab, as well as media center stocked with Spanish language books at every reading level.
Q. Will my child be prepared for middle school and beyond?
A. Jones Immersion students often take high-level classes and make the honor roll in middle school. Students have the option of attending the partial immersion program at Aycock Middle School.
Q. How do I register my child for kindergarten in the Jones Spanish immersion Program?
A. Families residing in the Guilford County School District with a child eligible for kindergarten in the fall of next school year can apply for the magnet lottery beginning with the first magnet fair in February. Magnet packets will contain information about all kindergarten programs in the district. They will be available at Jones or from the Franklin Boulevard office of Magnet Programs during the application window.
Q. How many openings are there each year?
A. the Kindergarten Spanish Immersion Program has 96 slots available each year. Last year, there were more applications than available space; therefore, a waiting list was established. Students on the s waiting list will be notified at the time an opening occurs. After the end of first grade, students are only admitted on a case-by-case basis. Contact the principal directly for more information.
Q. Where is the program?
A. The program is housed in the David D. Jones Elementary School, 502 South Street, Greensboro, NC 27406
Q. Do children entering this program need to have background in Spanish?
A. No, children do not need to have prior exposure to the Spanish language. This program is designed for children whose families do not speak Spanish. The students should have a strong vocabulary, are able to recognize colors and shapes, do not have auditory problems or delays in the English language and should recognize some (phonics sounds. Parents must be committed to teaching their children the foundations of (English) reading at home as well as spelling and writing some basic high frequency words. Students will not receive English instruction until the second grade. This program demands a lot from the parents and their children. It is not for everyone. Ordinarily, the students who leave the program do so not because they are not finding success in Spanish but because they are NOT having success with English Literacy. Accountability demands that children be able to function in English at or above grade level in order to show proficiency on the EOG.
Q. What level of skill in Spanish will students have by the end of fifth grade?
A. The goal is for students to speak Spanish fluently. They will also have strong enough reading, writing, and listening skills to master the core academic subjects in Spanish.
Q. How can I help my child if I don’t speak Spanish?
A. A family commitment is essential for children to experience the great benefits an immersion education yields. Parents can support their child in these ways:
· Make a long-term commitment to immersion
· Develop an understanding of immersion education
· Provide experiences outside of school to develop English language skills
· Encourage the use Spanish outside of school