Francis Scott Key Elementary School (Arlington, Virginia)

Francis Scott Key Elementary School (Arlington, Virginia)

Francis Scott Key Elementary School (Arlington, Virginia)

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Francis Scott Key Elementary School is one of the eighteen elementary schools in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.. It is a countywide school, meaning that it draw students from various neighborhoods in the county. It is named after Francis Scott Key.

Immersion program

The school is unique because it has a two-way Spanish-English immersion program that has been in operation in the school since 1986. In Arlington, Spanish is the most widely spoken minority language. Also present are others such as Vietnamese, Urdu, and Tigrinya. Prior to the 1986-87 school year the Key School had no "pullout classes" for minority language students. The school principal collaborated with the Public Schools Bilingual Program Office in Hartford, Connecticut to design the program.

The two-way immersion program begins in Kindergarten in a classroom that consists of English speakers and Spanish speakers. From the beginning, the instruction is split between both languages. The program provides English-speaking children the unique opportunity to acquire a second language early in life through the immersion process. It provides the Spanish-speaking students the opportunity to receive education in English while enhancing their verbal and literacy skills in Spanish. Parents of Spanish-speaking children in the program indicate that their children feel a greater sense of pride and ethnic identity because of their fluency in their mother tongue. Also, since Spanish-speakers...
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