Dual language immersion could be scrapped from Cobb schools
Although the cuts to the program will not be made district-wide, the program may leave many schools.
COBB COUNTY, Ga. — For seven years, students in Cobb County have been learning in different languages under a unique district curriculum — and now the future of the beloved program is in jeopardy.
In 2015, Cobb County parents and principals came together to create a program where students have the opportunity to be in a creative classroom that teaches half of their curriculum in another language. Since then, the dual-language immersion program has expanded to 11 elementary schools and two high schools in Cobb County and has become the reason many parents move and enroll their children in the district.
However, in recent weeks there have been conversations within the Cobb County School District that have put DLI in danger of being phased out.
Parents and board members are rallying to keep the program alive in schools.
Cobb County School Board member Dr. Jaha Howard chairs the majority of schools that have implemented the program in their classrooms, and he said scrapping the program could reduce progress for students and teachers. parents since its inception.
RELATED: Meet the candidates who hope to lead Georgian schools | Dr Jaha Howard
“Language is essential. It is important. And the last thing we need to do is shorten and minimize our program,” he said. “We want to expand our program to make it stronger.
According to the IDD website, other areas the program helps students in include problem solving, standardized testing, and increased cultural awareness.
Dr. Howard has seen these benefits come to fruition as his own children are students in the program and every day he sees them excelling in a language that many adults – even himself – struggle to remember.
Although the cuts to the program will not be made across the district, the program could leave many schools behind.
To decide, there will be no vote of the Board of Directors on whether or not to maintain the program. Since this is an “operational issue”, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale will make the final decision on whether or not to continue the program.
For this reason, Dr. Howard believes the key to saving this program is the parents.
“You know, I will say that this program was driven by active parents and volunteer directors. And I think that will be the exact recipe to make sure that we save this program to some degree and hopefully in the future expand this program,” he said.
He encourages parents to email and write to Ragsdale and all members of the Cobb School Board to talk and share their journey with the DLI program. He also said to advocate at school board meetings. The next one will be on May 19.
Until then, Dr Howard said in a statement that he looked forward to working with the superintendent on solutions for a reasonable way forward.