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Spanish Immersion Students Could Move

November 8, 2012, 6:00 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Spanish Immersion Students Could Move

The Sioux Falls school district's Spanish immersion program continues growing.

Currently there are 350 students in the program, spread out over two schools. Now the district wants to put all the immersion students under one roof.

The Spanish Immersion program is designed to teach English speaking children Spanish by always using the language in the classroom. The program started at Rosa Parks Elementary and became so popular, the school district expanded to Robert Frost Elementary. Now the district is looking to build a new facility to bring all the students back together.

"By building rather a unique facility that would be best described as two schools on one site. With shared gymnasium, shared multi-purpose areas, shared common areas," Superintendent Pam Homan said.

This new facility would not change the program, but it would help students get more out of it. The idea of a separate Spanish immersion school is exciting for those with loved ones in the program.

"I think it's really going to be a great thing that it's all just in one place and then they can continue to grow from Kindergarten up. So I think it's going to be wonderful," Rhonda Bennett said.

The only concern the school district sees is it might change how some students would get to school. Even though they say it is a little early, Superintendent Homan believes they will have a plan in place if the project passes.

"Because some parents can transport, and some can't because of work; some children are walking currently, so the intent would definitely have transportation be a part of the solution, and we're defining what that looks like," Homan said.

The new buildings would be placed on the same land as a middle school being built about a mile west of Southeast Tech.

The school board will vote on whether or not to go forward with this project on November 26. If it passes, they hope to start breaking ground by 2016.

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