Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

School board approves dual language immersion program at Montgomery Elementary

By
From page A1 | February 24, 2013 |

The Davis school board voted unanimously on Thursday night to approve a gradual transformation of Montgomery’s current strand of Spanish Immersion program classrooms into a new two-way bilingual immersion language program.

Superintendent Winfred Roberson and Montgomery principal Sally Plicka said this transition would better serve the school’s diverse enrollment. The changeover would start with a kindergarten class featuring the new two-way program in the fall, and then slowly be phased in other grades across a period of years.

Plicka stressed that Montgomery will retain “a neighborhood focus, and not be a magnet for the district. … Dual immersion will help even out the demographics in the school, (and) the program is specifically designed to meet the needs of our English learners and regular students.” And she added that “(Montgomery) is really uniquely positioned (among Davis elementary schools) to be able to implement this program.”

Montgomery Elementary has hosted a strand of Spanish Immersion classes since the campus opened in 2001. Initially, Montgomery’s Spanish Immersion strand was designed to cover grades K-3, at which point students could transfer to César Chávez Elementary to continue in Spanish Immersion for grades 4-6. Last year, the school board approved the addition of another first-grade Spanish Immersion at Montgomery, as well as the gradual expansion of Spanish Immersion at Montgomery into grades 4-6.

Among public elementary schools in Davis, Montgomery has the fewest resident K-6 students living in its attendance area — 404 students, according to the latest report by the district’s demographic consultant. Montgomery also has distinctive demographics —  a ratio of 43 percent white and 40 percent Hispanic/Latino students (as compared to a ratio of 59 percent white and 18 percent Hispanic/Latino across the district as a whole). And 47 percent of Montgomery students participate in free-/reduced-price meal programs, which are based on modest family income (as compared with 21 percent districtwide).  Some 26 percent of Montgomery students are English learners (as compared with 9 percent districtwide).

Montgomery posted a robust 842 points in the state’s most recent Academic Performance Index ranking — the state regards schools with an API above 800 as “high performing schools” — and that 842 API would make Montgomery among the highest ranked schools in most Yolo County districts. But several years ago, Montgomery slipped into Program Improvement status under the federal government’s more punitive No Child Left Behind program, which requires that 100 percent of students be proficient in English and math by 2014 (a goal that most educators regard as noble but unrealistic). Montgomery’s students who are English learners have been meeting most (but not all) of No Child Left Behind’s annually rising benchmarks for English learners — and as a result, since not all benchmarks have been met, the school has not been able to get out of Program Improvement status, and is now in PI Year 4.

No Child Left Behind allows parents to move their children out of a school that is in Program Improvement and into a school that is not in PI. And a number of Montgomery parents have indeed opted to transfer their kids — sometimes into voluntary special programs like GATE, Montessori or Spanish Immersion at other campuses, other times taking advantage of the opportunity to transfer into a neighborhood school program elsewhere under Program Improvement’s parent choice option. According to school district statistics, 76 students from the Montgomery attendance area are now at Pioneer Elementary, another 52 are at Chavez Elementary, 20 are at North Davis Elementary, and so on.

In addition, most of the parents of Montgomery students who are English learners have chosen to place their kids in the regular neighborhood school classrooms at Montgomery, rather than Spanish Immersion classrooms. Plicka said she is hopeful that the two-way bilingual immersion program — which will include daily instruction in both languages, with the same content and academic standards that are used in English-only classrooms — will attract more students who are English learners or low socioeconomic status students into the immersion program. Plicka also noted that Montgomery is the only local school participating in a science-technology-engineering-math pilot program in conjunction with UC Davis.

Trustee Nancy Peterson, who has had children at Montgomery for 12 years, suggested offering a full-day kindergarten program at Montgomery — an idea that drew quick support from school board president Sheila Allen, who noted that Merryhill Elementary which has offered full-day kindergarten will be closing this summer. But given the school district’s financial predicament, it is uncertain where the money to support a full-day kindergarten would come from.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Davis team wins world robotics championship

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    Those texts still linger

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

     
    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

     
    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8