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DELAWARE: New dual language charter school coming to Wilmington

spanish-english-charter-school-santa-rosaThe state’s first dual-language Expeditionary Learning elementary charter school plans to open its doors in August of next year.

Students will split their time learning in both English and Spanish at Academia Antonia Alonso or La Academia.

“You don’t need to have any skills in a specific language,” says school leader Jesús Urdiales.

Urdiales says there’s a huge need for this kind of school, noting it’s been in the minds of people in the city for more than a decade.

Building on that notion, Urdiales has huge goals for his students.

“A student does not need to have any Spanish skills to come to our school nor English. If a student comes in and his first language is Spanish, we’re going to make sure he’s bilingual by fifth grade,” he says.

Students fluent in each language will learn together in one classroom.

“The instruction is done all in English for one whole day and then the following day it’s done in Spanish,” as a form of reinforcement says Urdiales.

Through expeditionary learning, students will learn how to apply analytical skills to solve real-world problems. Students also learn the importance of character values.

“Having integrity and being compassionate and being resilient and experiencing success, but also failure, and learning from failure,” Urdiales explains.

Urdiales, as a former bilingual teacher in Houston, says he can’t wait to see students’ faces light up when they’ve mastered a second language.

“It’s almost like a parent when they see their child speaking for the first time or walking for the first time, it’s pretty fascinating,” he says.

La Academia charter school will be housed inside the Community Education building at 1200 North French Street in Wilmington.

“We like to call it a village culture. A couple of schools are going to be located in that building, and so we’re going to be working together, as a community, to be able to utilize our strengths and utilizing our resources, so that we, in the end, students in the community are the ones that benefit from us being in that same building,” he explains.

Enrollment begins in November. La Academia will accept 300 students in kindergarten and first grades, adding a grade level each year up until fifth grade.

Source: WDEL Delaware EducationWatch – by Amy Cherry

View more articles on Delaware charter schools

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This entry was posted on October 9, 2013 by in Charter Schools, Delaware and tagged , .

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