Students of the Rock Hill school district’s language immersion program soon will have the option of continuing in middle school, but the district has yet to finalize what the middle school aspect will look like.
The district is planning to expand its language immersion choice program to middle and high schools, and could add a college component. School leaders are considering two options for the middle school schedule, said Joya Holmes, executive director of professional learning and school choice.
The middle school option comes along with the district’s new Language Immersion Academy, which is being built adjacent to Sullivan Middle School. On Aug. 31, Rock Hill students, speaking Spanish and French, assisted educators and parents in celebrating the academy’s groundbreaking. The academy is expected to open in the fall of 2018. When the academy opens, elementary students will receive half of their instruction in their chosen foreign language and half in English.
The $18 million academy consolidates the Spanish immersion programs at Ebinport and Richmond Drive elementary schools and the French immersion program at Rosewood. The academy is open to kindergarten through fifth-graders.
The middle school program for sixth grade would offer a Spanish or French language course, and either a social studies or a culture course. For seventh and eighth graders, the program would include a Spanish or French language arts course and a culture course.
District officials are considering two schedule options, Holmes said. On Thursday, district officials will meet with a parent advisory committee to hear feedback on the two options.
Once the schedule is determined, the district will move forward with staffing, Holmes said.
Students must be enrolled in an elementary language immersion choice program to continue in middle school, Holmes said. She said families who wish to have their fifth-grader continue the program should fill out a letter of intent Oct.2-Oct. 27.
The district’s application period for choice programs opens Dec. 5 and closes Feb. 28, 2018, Holmes said. The district will give higher priority to younger siblings of students already enrolled.
After those spots are filled, the remaining spots will be filled on a lottery basis, Holmes said. Once the academy is full, there will be a waiting list.
Choice fairs are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Sullivan Middle School and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 18 in the Kenneth Monroe Transformation Center in Rock Hill.
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082
Student enrollment - Immersion program
Richmond Drive Elementary
*Data is as of Sept. 21, 2017
*Data provided by the Rock Hill school district