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Possible Expansion For Spanish Immersion

April 17, 2014, 10:00 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Possible Expansion For Spanish Immersion
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

In the Sioux Falls School District, there are currently three sections of Spanish Immersion -- split between Robert Frost and Rosa Parks Elementary.

In two years, a new facility will be built to bring all students and staff into one building, and create a fourth section. But that may not be soon enough for some parents.

Each year, the Spanish Immersion program can only take in a limited number of Kindergarteners. With an expansion still two years away, some parents fear their kids will miss out.

"Right now we can only accommodate three sections, but that's two more years of children who have to go without because the expansion can't happen," Superintendent of the Sioux Falls School District, Pam Homan said. 

During a work session meeting on Monday, the School Board asked the administration to look into creating a fourth section for next school year.

Superintendent Pam Homan says the new section would have to be held in the already busy Instructional Planning Center.

"We have some programs exiting into the Axtell building. And my needing to find space for other temporary programs that were coming in here. And the whole domino effect of buildings that we have expanding in the next two years," Homan said. 

While it may be a balancing act, parents who already have kids in the program say it's well worth the shuffling.

"This is an opportunity for the children, that maybe if the setting isn't exactly ideal; once you know what your child gets from it it's worth it. It's completely worth it," parent of fifth grade immersion student, Shannon Graber said.

Shannon Graber's son was in the first immersion class and says what he's gained will change his future. And she hopes more parents will sign their kids up and the program will continue to grow.

"It's not just kindergarten. It's K through 12. It's having a bi-lingual, bi-cultural person to go out into society doing wonderful things in their career. It's exciting," Graber said.

The School District will be hosting an informational meeting about the Spanish Immersion Program on April 22 at 6:30 at Robert Frost.

The deadline to apply for the program is May 6th. You can find the application form at the School District's website. 

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