HPISD set to launch elementary Passport to Spanish in fall
Photo by Chris McGathey
This fall, kindergartners and first-graders will begin their foreign language journey with HPISD's Passport to Spanish program.
Curriculum writers and teachers Eric Inboden and Diana Perez have been planning and writing curriculum all year in preparation for the 2015-16 school year. They've met with students, teachers, parents, principals, administrators and board members and researched other schools' language programs to create an integrated path that will help students succeed as lifelong learners.
Inboden and Perez will try out some of their lessons in elementary classrooms this spring in preparation for the fall launch. The goal is to add one new grade level each school year through full implementation for grades K-6. Upon entering the seventh grade, the program will dovetail with existing foreign language instruction.
"Our students will benefit tremendously from the acquisition of a second language," said HPISD Superintendent Dr. Dawson Orr. "This program has long been requested by our parents and community members, and the support of the PTA leaders and commitment of the School Board are making this possible."
One of Perez's favorite sayings is the French Proverb, "A man who knows two languages is worth two men."
"Learning another language opens doors to new cultures and perspectives," she said.
Inboden pointed out that research supports the notion that early study of a foreign language promotes brain development and is beneficial across the spectrum of academic disciplines.
"We are excited to put our research to practice and watch as our students' Spanish language acquisition propels them forward in all of their academic efforts," he said.
Park Cities People spotlighted the upcoming program in an article in its February issue.
Click HERE to read the initial announcement and HERE to read the Dallas Morning News story published in September of 2014.