DLBE Moving Forward
First, a few facts:
  • Currently, the DLBE program is offered in grades 1-4 at MKES.
  • The program begins in 1st grade, and the current 4th grade was the first year of students eligible for the program as 1st graders in September 2014. Approximately 85% of the eligible families have chosen to participate in the DLBE program, while 15% have opted to continue with the Traditional (English instruction only) program.
  • That equates to just over 300 students in the DLBE program and 54 students in the Traditional program.
Why is the BCSD Administration looking into changes to the current DLBE program?
There are several reasons why alternatives are being researched:
  • Concerns about the Traditional program experience:
    • There are concerns from the families of some children in the Traditional classrooms that the current structure limits their socialization and school experience.
    • Currently, students who are enrolled in the Traditional program are limited to 1 class section/grade and remain together through grades 1-5 as a cohort. Since those classes average 13 students/class, those 13 students are "tracked" with the same peers for 5 years.
    • Because there is only 1 Traditional class/grade, adjustments cannot made to account for gender, learning differences, social conflicts or any other situation which would typically be taken into account when creating a class. 
      • To simplify - if you have twins and your family chooses the Traditional program, they will be in class together for the next 5 years. If 12 boys and 1 girl choose the Traditional program, that will be the makeup of that class for next 5 years. Obviously other examples can be made, but the concerns are clear.
    • Additionally, families who move into the MKES enrollment zone and have students (in grades 1-4) that do not have past Spanish language experience are automatically tracked into the Traditional program.
  • Providing the opportunity to other District elementary students to participate in DLBE:
    • In a District survey of incoming first grade students for September 2018, there was interest from families in the other District elementary schools to potentially apply for a spot in a DLBE "School of Choice", if that option was made available to students outside of the MKES attendance area.
  • Satisfaction with the DLBE program by current participants:
    • There is strong support for and satisfaction with the DLBE program by parents whose children are currently participating in the program. The idea has been raised that if a dedicated DLBE school was created, the options for enrichment and field trips could be further tailored to the DLBE program, enhancing the program.
  • District Advisory Committees:
    • The 2016-2017 Space and Enrollment Advisory Committee called for the evaluation of a possible DLBE Magnet School and the Budget Advisory Committee asked the District to evaluate the effectiveness and cost of alternate ESOL delivery models at MKES.