Bilingual education programs continue to expand in Dallas ISD, with 50 elementary schools offering two-way dual language programs and another eight proposed for the 2017-18 school year.

The program is so popular and, at some schools, spots are so competitive that the district has tied in the application period with its choice and magnet school applications, giving parents of next year’s pre-K, kindergarten and first-grade students until Tuesday, Jan. 31 to apply.

The new application process is a change for some schools, which may have had different application periods or admission processes in prior years. In the new system, siblings of students already enrolled in their home school’s dual language program will be given priority, and oversubscription will result in a lottery for the seats.

Several Oak Cliff elementary schools are now accepting two-way dual language applications for 2017-18. Rosemont and Winnetka have established immersion programs where students have been taught in both English and Spanish for years.

Two other programs at Hogg in Kidd Springs and Reagan near the Bishop Arts District have launched more recently to accommodate parent demand. Both of these schools offer two-way dual language starting in pre-K, and if families don’t qualify for free pre-K they can pay tuition.

Each school is holding an information session, and some have already taken place, but a DISD spokeswoman says the district “strongly encourages” families to request a one-on-one session with the campus they are seeking entry to.
Our neighborhood also has dual language programs at the middle and high school levels. Students can apply at Rosemont International Language Preparatory Middle School and Sunset High School, and must pass a Spanish fluency test to be admitted.