Release Date: 4/11/2016
Contact: Office of Communications, 443-809-5908

15 elementary schools receive “passport" for Spanish language instruction

Announcement brings the number of participating schools to 40

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TOWSON – Baltimore County Public Schools has announced the names of 15 elementary schools to become the third cohort to implement a Spanish language instruction program.

The new Passport Schools announced on Friday, Apr. 8, are Berkshire, Deep Creek, Deer Park, Grange, Halstead, Hillcrest, New Town, Pinewood, Red House Run, Sandalwood, Sandy Plains, Seventh District, Sparks, Stoneleigh, and Timber Grove elementary schools.

The new “Passport Schools" join 25 schools already participating in the program. The 10 original Passport Schools began offering Spanish language instruction to Grade 4 students in the 2014-2015 school year and now offer instruction to students in Grades 4 and 5. The second cohort of 15 elementary schools introduced the second-language program in Grade 4 this school year and will extend it to Grade 5 next school year. The new third cohort schools will begin offering Spanish instruction to Grade 4 students in the 2016-2017 school year.

“We are so pleased that this program is continuing to grow and that by next school year, it will reach more than a third of our Grade 4 students," said BCPS Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance. “Our students are eager for this instruction and are fully engaged in learning a new language as well as about other cultures. We know that offering them this instruction in elementary school will give them the opportunity to become proficient in a second language before graduation, and we know how much learning a new language will help facilitate their future academic and career success."

The existing 25 Passport Schools are: first cohort – Bear Creek, Hampton, Johnnycake, Padonia, Pleasant Plains, Prettyboy, Reisterstown, Sussex, Vincent Farm and West Towson elementary schools; second cohort – Franklin, Fullerton, Glenmar, Glyndon, Halethorpe, Hernwood, Lyons Mill, Mars Estates, Perry Hall, Pine Grove, Randallstown, Seneca, Shady Spring, Warren, and Woodbridge elementary schools.

Selected schools were chosen from among schools that applied to participate in the program. The selection committee reviewed applications with an eye toward achieving geographic and student demographic balance.

Students at Passport Schools use both Middlebury Interactive and participate in conversational lessons taught by a BCPS elementary Spanish teacher. Middlebury Interactive is a research-based, interactive, self-paced program developed by Middlebury College and Middlebury Interactive Languages. The course focuses on listening and speaking.

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