Before You Enroll

BEFORE YOU ENROLL

It is important to know before you enroll your child in DLS that the academic goals of DLS are very different than the academic goals of a traditional neighborhood school.  Although our goals are similar with regard to high academic achievement and teaching to the Colorado State Standards, DLS has an ambitious and unique goal of bilingualism and bi-literacy by 8th grade.  This requires an intense study of the target language (Mandarin or Spanish) for your child in the early years.  Unless your child has been identified as an ELL student, there is no formal instruction in English prior to 3rd grade.  Total immersion program research studies show that children's English literacy will be slightly behind their non-immersion peers in the early years, but by 5th grade they will be equal to their non-immersion peers in English.   In the middle school years, research studies show immersion students will begin to outperform their non-immersion peers in all subject areas including English on standardized tests.  It is in the secondary years when children reach a high proficiency in the target language, and this high language proficiency begins to positively impact all subjects, which is why DLS has developed a dynamic secondary program for our students.

Our language immersion model requires a long term commitment to the program through 8th grade to reach these goals.  Transferring before the end of 8th grade would mean forfeiting the long-term goals of bilingualism and bi-literacy for your child.  Additionally, if you do decide to change to a traditional program before middle school, research studies show it will take approximately one year for your child to catch up in English.  By staying committed to the program during the 3rd and 4th grade English literacy lag, and through the completion of 8th grade, your child will graduate 8th grade at DLS with high proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic in two different languages!  Bilingualism is a skill your child can tap into for the rest of their professional lives.


Language Use Policy

“No English in the Target Language Classroom” is a policy that DLS enforces to guarantee language immersion is successul.  This means teachers speak only the target language in their target language classrooms.  This also means that teachers do not permit students or parent volunteers to use English in their target language classrooms at any time.  DLS students will be expected to use only the target language during the target language academic classroom time by the Spring Semester of first grade.

DLS highly encourages parents to volunteer their time and to be actively involved in our school, whether or not they speak the target language.  To find out ways parents can appropriately volunteer their time at our unique immersion school, please visit the PTO Website.