Catholic schools will launch dual language

Teachers will instruct in English, Spanish
Posted at 9:03 AM, Jan 12, 2018

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -  In the future, it won't be uncommon at Sts. Peter and Paul schools to hear students listening to a medley of Spanish and English during lessons.

"80 percent of our students speak Spanish as a first language," said Principal Andrew Bauer. "Our school is 92 percent Latino."

Breaking down the statistics, Bauer fluently understands a unique opportunity.

So not only will we offer math, science, reading and literacy in English but also in Spanish, he said.

His school, along with Our Lady of Lourdes, will offer a new dual language academy for first through eighth grade students within the next two years.

According to the Omaha Catholic School Consortium, the academy will first launch it  at St. Stanislaus School in 2018-2019 for preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten.

Afterwards, the academy will continue to offer it to a new grade with each passing year.

In the first year, we expect to offer it to around 150 students, said Assistant Superintendent Donna Bishop.

Students will be moving in two realms - linguistically speaking, according to Megan Fielder, principal of Our Lady of Lourdes School.

"50 percent of their day, they'll be instructed in a language of Spanish in different content areas and then 50 percent of their day will be taught in English in the different content areas."

The selected schools are part of a national network created by Boston College, which offers dual language instruction.

The university is expected to provide support to teachers for the next five years, Fielder said.

Not only are the principals hoping the students become bilingual, but also bi-literate.

To learn more about the Boston College Language Dual program, click here.

To learn how to apply for the Consortium's program, click here .