Dual Language Immersion
In the School District of Beloit, we have implemented a special type of dual language immersion called Two-Way Immersion. In Two-Way Immersion, balanced numbers of native English speakers and native speakers of the partner language are integrated for instruction. Both groups of students would serve as language models and language learners at different times.
We are following the 50/50 model: About fifty percent of the students in each class are native Spanish speakers, and the other 50% are native English speakers. Students will learn language through content, not as content. They will be learning what all other Beloit students are learning, but they will be learning in Spanish, as well as in English.
We have 3 different models: 1 DPI certified teacher who is fluent in English and Spanish; A DPI certified teacher in English with a bilingual para educator, and 1 DPI certified English teacher & 1 DPI certified Spanish teacher and they rotate the students at lunch. The model changes based on the staff that we hire for the building.
Research has consistently shown that students who are taught in Dual Language Immersion programs in the long run academically outperform students who are taught in English only. This is true for both Native English speaking students and students whose first language is not English. Research also shows the endless benefits to being bilingual.
Head Start Collaboration
Head Start collaborates with the School District of Beloit at Merrill Elementary School. The collaboration originally started in the 2012-2013 school year at Merrill and Hackett. Head Start and SDB teachers collaborate using a variety of resources from both the district and Head Start to ensure student success for children who are under the federal poverty line. This includes their own family resource coordinator to work one on one with parents in order to get out of poverty and provide the best environment they can for their children. SDB also has 3 classrooms of 4K students at Henry Avenue.
Even Start Family Literacy
Even Start is a collaboration between Blackhawk Technical College and the School District of Beloit. It started off as a grant and after the grant ended BTC and SDB kept the essence of the program. To be eligible at least 1 parent from the family must be in need of English as a Second Language class and enrolled in a BTC class and there must be at least 1 child under the age of 5. Adults have a 2.5 hour ELL class with BTC instructors while their Birth to 4 child is with SDB staff. In addition, families have 30 minute of family time daily where they learn about early literacy and math strategies, as well as, other academic family bonding experiences.