Jeanne Martinelli Engelkemeir 0

Tell Hawthorn District 73 School Board NO to cutting the Dual Language Spanish "Resource Consultative Teacher" position of Sra. Flores

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Dear Hawthorn District 73 School Board Members: We the undersigned friends, family, students, and community members of Hawthorn School District 73, LOVE our Dual Language Program. We are grateful to live in a school district attempting to live out its goal of preparing students to become active global citizens. We also applaud your efforts towards developing a healthy responsible balanced budget. However, we still most respectfully request that you please do not do this at the expense of the Dual Language "Resource Consultative Teacher" position of Sra. Carmen Flores. We sincerely request you to VOTE NO to cutting this Dual Language "Resource Consultative Teacher" position and instead let us help inform and educate you on the importance of this vital position to the Dual Language Program. 1. The 80 minutes of Spanish instruction delivered by the teacher in this position helps maintain full compliance as a "Dual Language" school of instruction, with the minimum (some programs are more in Spanish!) 50% instruction in Spanish and 50% in English. 1b. We don't want to compare "apples to oranges" in attempting to make "Spanish cuts across both Townline Schools", Monolingual and Dual Language programs: 1c. How do you compare a 40 minute (already sadly cut this past year), taped and aide-assisted Spanish "learning/teaching" experience, with that of the interactive 80 minute/week enrichment teaching/instruction that this Spanish Dual Language position offers our children attempting true gains of bilingualism? 2. Attempts to scramble around to make this potential Dual Language cut "work" are proving extremely stressful and overloading on the enrichment ("gifted") teacher being called in to fill in, leaving her already stretched beyond realistic abilities to meet other demands. 3. With plans to expand the Dual Language program, as presented in a meeting held only months ago at Townline, we don't understand the now appearingly contradictory nature of this cut to this long term goal of growing the Dual Language program, by this immediate short term cut that weakens the program. 4. Studies after studies (American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages ACTFL;  Center for Applied Linguistics CAL) show the importance of dual language learning to children's success in all aspects of life, because of their enhanced abilities to "think outside the box" which greatly improves  critical thinking skills and thus manifests as improved "test scores".  

4b. Look at Dual Language's own ISAT scores which have improved for Dual Language over the past several years, since the implementation of Sra. Flores' teaching. 
4c. Research has long argued that the earlier a second (or third) language can be learned, the better, as the child's mind is like an "absorbent sponge" able to soak up and sort out these communicative symbols and sounds for meaning with little to no effort, especially as compared to the same attempted learning while much older.   
5. What about investigating grants available for Dual Language Programs? We can and must find supplemental funding for our Dual Language program, before making unnecessary cuts to the detriment of the growth of the program.  Encourage our Dual Language Administrators to find support to grow the program, thus encouraging their passion, as opposed to restricting their leadership abilities to improve the Dual Language program. PLEASE RECONSIDER before taking away this Dual Language "Resource Consultative Teacher" position. We implore you to find another way to make financial cuts to our district, besides that of taking away the teacher position of "Resource Consultative Teacher" for the Hawthorn Dual Language School. Thank you for your serious consideration of this important matter.


Concerned parents, friends and community members.


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