My 1/23/16 letter to the DBRAC:
(1) PPS begins to accept kindergarten lottery applications for dual language immersion program on February 18th. The first immersion open house is at Kelly (Russian) on January 25th. The kindergarten lottery closes on March 9th. The locations of several existing immersion programs are still undecided. No sites have been determined for the three new immersion programs requested by the Department of Dual Language for 2016-17: Chinese and Spanish in outer SE, and Spanish in SW.
(2) Over the past six years (for as long as data as has been published separating neighborhood and transfer applicants), the parents of kindergarteners in the current Ainsworth neighborhood have preferred (from a low of 68.8% up to 87.3%) the Spanish immersion program over the non-immersion program. The parents in the Ainsworth neighborhood want a Spanish immersion program. So, if PPS decides to move the current Spanish immersion program to East Sylvan, PPS should open a new neighborhood-only Spanish immersion program at Ainsworth because that is what the neighborhood parents want. Why force an English-only program on them?
(3) In the kindergarten lottery for 2015-16, 487 applicants were turned down by dual language immersion programs. That is enough applicants for nine additional immersion programs each with two strands.
(4) The recent Rand study of the PPS immersion programs found in 8th grade immersion students an increase of nine months of English reading learning by both native English speakers and native speakers of other languages. Expanding immersion programs is good for all students in PPS.