School wants immersion in Spanish OK'd
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 26, 2007

Ofelia Madrid

SCOTTSDALE - Some Pueblo Elementary School students will be speaking more than English if plans to create a foreign-language immersion program come to fruition.

Pueblo's Principal Terri Kellen shared her proposal with the Scottsdale Unified School District governing board, which will likely vote on the program at its Feb. 13 meeting. Kellen devised the plan to combat the school's shrinking enrollment. Scottsdale's recent condominium conversions and the neighborhood's aging demographics have left 480 students at the 700-student-capacity school.

"The real reason is to provide students this opportunity," she said.

It's designed to teach Spanish to monolingual English speakers, which should protect it from any legal challenges tied to Proposition 203, which requires teaching Spanish speakers in English.

If approved, the free program would open in August at Pueblo, 6320 N. 82nd St., with 50 first-graders. Half of the students would live within the school's boundaries, and the rest would be out-of-boundary students from open enrollment, officials said.

Math, social studies and science would be taught in Spanish, while language arts classes would be in English.

"The goal is by the end of sixth grade, that they can read, write and speak in Spanish," Kellen said.

The voluntary program already has a healthy waiting list, she added.

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