Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Four schools picked for Austin's dual-language pilot; input sought on special education programs

Four schools picked for Austin's dual-language pilot; input sought on special education programs
Published: 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010


Schools picked for pilot dual-language progra

Becker, Perez, Ridgetop and Wooten elementary schools have been chosen to pilot a dual-language program in the fall.

In dual-language classrooms, students are taught in English and a second language, becoming fluent in both. Dual language differs from traditional bilingual or English as a Second Language programs, which aim to teach English to the nonnative speakers. Spanish will be the second language in the district's dual-language program, though district officials have said other languages could be added in the future.

The program will cost $600,000 a year for the four schools. An advisory committee chose the four schools out of nine that applied. However, Ridgetop's participation will hinge on its ability to recruit prospective students, among other factors, district officials said. And Becker's participation is contingent upon improved academic performance.

Brentwood, Blanton, Oak Hill, Odom and Travis Heights elementary schools will be considered for the second school year of the dual-language pilot in 2011.

Special ed forums planned

The district will hold two discussion sessions this month on special education services for families of students with disabilities and interested community members.

The forums are being held for participants to share their recommendations, thoughts and concerns. Information gathered at these forums will be shared with Superintendent Meria Carstarphen at a meeting in February. The forums will be held:

• 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the St. Ignatius, Martyr, School Family Center, 126 W. Oltorf St.

• 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Region XIII Education Service Center, 5701 Springdale Road.

Pizza, child care and translation services will be provided. For more information, call 414-1731.


District seeks volunteers

The district's School Health Advisory Council is looking for parents and community members to volunteer as advisory council members. Council members advise district officials and trustees on issues relating to the health, wellness and safety of students.

The next health advisory council meeting will be from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday in the district's Central Kitchen conference room, 16255 Great Oaks Drive, Suite 100. Those interested in serving on the advisory council are encouraged to attend and must RSVP with Michele Schoppe at 464-8386 or Lunch will be provided.

Those interested may also contact Assistant Athletic Director Susan Nix at 464-5486.


3 Trustee seats up for election

Three seats on the district's Board of Trustees will be up for election May 8: Ralph Pfluger's District 4 seat, Chip DuPont's District 5 seat and Willie Tenorio Jr.'s District 2 spot. Pfluger and DuPont have announced that they will not seek another term.

Trustees appointed Tenorio in October after then-trustee Joe Muñoz moved outside of his district's boundaries.

Candidate application packets are available at the Central Administration Office, 21003 Interstate 35 in Kyle, or may be downloaded at . The first day to file for a place on the ballot is Feb. 8; the filing deadline is 4:30 p.m. March 12. Applications should be filed at the Central Administration Office.

A map of Hays single-member districts is available on the district Web site, , or at the Central Administration Office.

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