Two local schools dubbed “model” in language programs

December 15, 2015 Anna Spivak
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Two public schools in the Bensonhurst/Gravesend area can really talk  the talk.

P.S. 200, The Benson School and I.S. 228, David A. Boody, were two of 15 New York City Schools chosen by the Department of Education (DEP) as having “exemplary dual language programs”—a recognition that has allotted them $10,000 each to host educators from other schools and share their practices.

The two schools can now say they have “Model Dual Language Programs” for the 2015-16 schoolyear—The Benson School with Russian and David A. Boody with Russian, Chinese, Hebrew and Spanish.

“When principals and teachers share effective strategies, it’s the students who benefit,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Dual language programs offer academic rigor for students and the opportunity to maintain their native language while learning a new one and learning about diverse cultures. These 15 schools are leaders in dual language education and, through collaborative practices, we can ensure a supportive, high-quality multilingual experience for even more students.”

The 15 schools, which include elementary, middle and high schools in all five boroughs, will host visits from other schools as part of the program—sharing with them how better to practice and strengthen their existing or future dual language programs.

The educational institutions were chosen based on recommendations made by the Division of English Language Learners and Student Support, a stand-alone office dedicated to supporting English Language Learners (ELLs), according to the chancellor’s office. Each program was selected because of its dual language education, schoolwide commitment to it and strong family engagement practices.

“Dual language education is truly a game-changer that gives our students a competitive edge for college and career opportunities,” said Dominick D’Angelo, principal of Boody. “Students receive a high-quality education when exposed to more than one language in all content areas. This new program creates a collaborative community of educators while strengthening rigor in the classroom and increasing the availability of curriculum materials and multilingual tech applications.”

“New York City is arguably the most culturally diverse city in the United States. This diversity is reflected in the student body of our school system,” added Councilmember Vincent Gentile. “The Model Dual Language Program enables ELLs and English-proficient students to become bilingual and bicultural. At an exemplary elementary school in my district, P.S. 200, The Benson School, students are learning how to read, write and speak Russian in addition to English. The bilingual and bicultural skills that our students develop as a result of this program undoubtedly strengthen their understanding of different cultures.”

One other school in Brooklyn, P.S. 133, William A. Butler was chosen for its Spanish and French programs along with four schools from the Bronx, four in Manhattan, three in Queens and one Staten Island school.

“In a global economy, and in a borough where 47 percent of households speak a language other than English at home, second languages are increasingly becoming a necessity rather than an amenity,” noted Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Congratulations to the students and staff of Brooklyn’s P.S. 200, P.S. 133 and I.S. 228, as well as all of our schools listed today, for their recognition as being a Model Dual Language Program, and I thank Mayor de Blasio for recognizing these outstanding schools and for working toward a day when this recognition becomes the norm, rather than the exception, in all of our schools.”

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