Elementary school Spanish program creates building blocks for student success.
More young students are learning Spanish through an innovative partnership between Baltimore County Public Schools and Middlebury Interactive Languages.
Last year, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), recognizing the importance of proficiency in more than one language, started a unique movement: a fun, engaging and academic Spanish program at ten of the district’s elementary schools.
The “Passport School” program was developed in partnership with Middlebury Interactive Languages, the leader in academic digital world languages programs for K-12 students. Middlebury Interactive programs blend 100 years of proven world language instruction with the newest high-tech learning tools.
Teachers at BCPS report that students in last year’s pilot Passport Schools really took to the interactive materials and activities, while rising to the challenge of learning a new language. In addition to gaining Spanish skills, students gained deeper understanding of other cultures and are better prepared for academic and career success.
Teachers were amazed that, even though it wasn’t required, many students regularly accessed the online courses outside of the classroom—often working with their parents on fun and engaging activities. As a result, parents became more involved in their children’s education.
The success of last year’s pilot program has encouraged BCPS to more than double the Spanish program for the 2015-2016 school year. In total, 2,800 students across 25 schools will participate. BCPS plans to expand the program in future years to include all of the district’s elementary schools and students.
“The Spanish program has fostered a stronger learning culture in our schools while helping students develop a more global perspective and a clearer pathway to college,” said BCPS Superintendent S. Dallas Dance. “We are very pleased to expand the program so that this year nearly 3,000 BCPS students will experience the many educational and social benefits of high-quality Spanish language instruction.”
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