About 35 students who piloted the program in 2003 are set to become freshmen this fall
By Brian Park
The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday unanimously approved expansion of the two-way Spanish language immersion program at San Juan Hills High School.
About 35 students who piloted the program at San Juan Elementary in 2003, and later moved onto Marco Forster Middle School, will become freshmen at San Juan Hills this fall, according to Assistant Superintendent Julie Hatchel.
The students will take a new two-way Spanish language course on world history. Hatchel said new textbooks for the course will cost the district $25,000.
The district and San Juan Hills are also currently working with Saddleback College to possibly offer a college-level Spanish-language history course to students in the program. Students who wish to receive college credit would have to pay a fee, according to Hatchel, but students who don’t pay the fee would still receive high school credit.
Hatchel and Trustee Jim Reardon said offering the chance to receive college credit would effectively make the class an Advanced Placement course without a test.
A method to track students’ progress in the program could be written into the district’s Memorandum of Understanding with San Juan Hills, according to Hatchel.
In addition to Spanish, the district also offers a Mandarin-and-English immersion program. The goal of the immersion programs is to help students achieve dual language proficiency by teaching them to think, read, write and communicate in two languages.
Other CUSD campuses that offer immersion programs include Bergeson, Las Palmas and Viejo elementary schools and Bernice Ayer Middle School.