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Old 08-09-2009, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Leesburg
60 posts, read 121,860 times
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Default Immersion programs in Schools, why does Fairfax have them and Loudoun doesn't?

I was at my sisters house in Centreville today looking at a school catalog for local Fairfax County. They mention something about immersion schools. Seems FFX County FCPS has immersion schools in French, Spanish, German, and Japanese. While they are not full immersion, just part time, at least FCPS offers this and has a lottery system. It is only available at some schools and you must apply for this.

Why doesn't Loudoun County have anything like this? Also my sisters son is going to Kindergarten next month, and they have full day kindergarten in Centreville. Why doesn't Loudoun have this?

Seems FCPS has a much better program overall. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:19 PM
 
3,166 posts, read 3,981,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisplyr View Post
I was at my sisters house in Centreville today looking at a school catalog for local Fairfax County. They mention something about immersion schools. Seems FFX County FCPS has immersion schools in French, Spanish, German, and Japanese. While they are not full immersion, just part time, at least FCPS offers this and has a lottery system. It is only available at some schools and you must apply for this.

Why doesn't Loudoun County have anything like this? Also my sisters son is going to Kindergarten next month, and they have full day kindergarten in Centreville. Why doesn't Loudoun have this?

Seems FCPS has a much better program overall. Any thoughts?
Fairfax put immersion programs into schools that were very low scoring, low income, schools. Their hope was to bring in higher income, higher scoring, students from outside the school boundary. Since transportation is not provided, only higher income students, with parents who can provide transportation, go to immersion schools. Those out of boundary students help to increase the SOL scores at these low performing schools.

Full day kindergarten is not available in all FCPS schools, only those schools in poorer areas with lower scores. There are not full day kindergarten in schools in McLean, Great Falls, Oakton and Vienna. Again, low preforming schools that need full day kindergarten.

Why doesn't Loudoun have these programs? Their schools aren't bad enough to need them. yet.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:26 PM
 
715 posts, read 1,310,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Fairfax put immersion programs into schools that were very low scoring, low income, schools. Their hope was to bring in higher income, higher scoring, students from outside the school boundary. Since transportation is not provided, only higher income students, with parents who can provide transportation, go to immersion schools. Those out of boundary students help to increase the SOL scores at these low performing schools.
Really?

Kent Gardens, located in McLean, has full time French Immersion. Wolftrap, located in north Vienna, has full time Chinese Immersion. Chesterbrook, located in McLean, has full time Chinese Immersion.

FYI, McLean and Vienna aren't considered poor and low performing.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:36 PM
 
4,376 posts, read 4,672,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by live_strong28 View Post
Really?

Kent Gardens, located in McLean, has full time French Immersion. Wolftrap, located in north Vienna, has full time Chinese Immersion. Chesterbrook, located in McLean, has full time Chinese Immersion.

FYI, McLean and Vienna aren't considered poor and low performing.
Kent Gardens has a French immersion program, but my understanding is that the Chinese programs at Wolftrap and Chesterbrook are FLES programs, which are substantially less than "full time Chinese Immersion" programs.

In any event, I wasn't under the impression that the elementary school language programs were especially toward lower-performing and/or lower-income schools, either.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:41 PM
 
3,166 posts, read 3,981,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by live_strong28 View Post
Really?

Kent Gardens, located in McLean, has full time French Immersion. Wolftrap, located in north Vienna, has full time Chinese Immersion. Chesterbrook, located in McLean, has full time Chinese Immersion.

FYI, McLean and Vienna aren't considered poor and low performing.
Yup. Kent Gardens has historically been the lowest scoring elementary school in McLean. That's why they got the French immersion program.

I don't see any language immersion programs at Wolftrap or Chesterbrook:

FCPS*Instructional Services:*High School Instruction &*K-12 Curriculum Services

I'd be shocked if a school could offer full time immersion because that would mean that ALL subjects, even English, are taught in a foreign language. How would elementary students learn to read English if everything was taught in a foreign language?
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:12 PM
 
3,166 posts, read 3,981,017 times
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JEB,
Look at my previous link. With the exception of Great Falls, which has a fairly new language immersion program, all of the schools are in low income areas. Those schools were chosen because of dwindling populations and lower scores.

Yes, Chesterbrook and Wolftrap have Chinese, under the FLES program, which means about an hour of language instruction per week. It's not a good program and it is not likely to be expanded. Most parents don't think it's worth an increase in class size to preserve. Some parents, and teachers, refer to FLES, jokingly, as a ''full employment act for teachers of foreign languages". Where else would an Italian teacher find a job?
FLES>Instructional Services Department
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:37 PM
 
715 posts, read 1,310,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Yup. Kent Gardens has historically been the lowest scoring elementary school in McLean. That's why they got the French immersion program.

I don't see any language immersion programs at Wolftrap or Chesterbrook:

FCPS*Instructional Services:*High School Instruction &*K-12 Curriculum Services

I'd be shocked if a school could offer full time immersion because that would mean that ALL subjects, even English, are taught in a foreign language. How would elementary students learn to read English if everything was taught in a foreign language?
That probably needs to be put in perspective with KG being the "lowest scoring" ES in McLean.

The scores at KG are on par or slightly lower than the other non GT McLean schools that are more white (Sherman, Chesterbrook, Spring Hill, etc.), but KG's scores are probably higher than 2/3 of the remaining elementary schools in "areas poorer than McLean" that don't have a language immersion program, which instead, should be getting KG's French Immersion program to boost their scores.

Therefore, that throws your argument out the window that a language immersion program was put in "low scoring" KG where clearly there are higher priority needs elsewhere in the county.

Maybe since KG is such a "low scoring" elementary school, that instead of having 1/2 day kindergarten, they should give KG full day kindergarten instead of the French Immersion program.

It's actually comical to think that someone would say a McLean school is getting extra help and extra concern from FCPS to improve its "low scores."

Kent Gardens, in fact, is a high scoring ES and is probably the most diverse elementary school in McLean, which is hard to come by in McLean, and the infusion of out of boundary kids interested in full time French Immersion could also have a negative effect on the high test scores that could be higher. I personally wouldn't call scores in the high to mid 90's as "low scoring," especially for a school the size of KG which has about 1k students total and a high student/teacher ratio.

For those that don't know anything about immersion schools, the entire curriculum is taught in that particular language. This of course, could also have a negative effect whereby the french immersion kids could be lowering the scores for KG.

With the infusion of out of boundary students intended to improve this "lower scoring" school, it has resulted in a larger student population (average 14-15 kids/teacher) where about 60% of the kids are out of boundary. Even if these kids were brought in to save "low scoring" KG, and all those wonderful frenchie kids scored 100% on all their tests, it wouldn't result in the current scores of high to mid 90's. Therefore, that means that KG is clearly not "low scoring" after all. It would be impossible numerically.

Here's an indication of how "low scoring" Kent Gardens is where the average SOLs range from high 90's to mid 90's and accreditation ratings for 09 average higher than Chesterbrook's:

FCPS - School Profiles - Kent Gardens ES - VDOE Accreditation Summary

Kent Gardens Elementary School Test Scores - McLean, Virginia - VA


Here's proof that a language program exists at Wolftrap's (note "FLES").

FCPS - School Profiles - Wolftrap ES

Chinese

Last edited by live_strong28; 08-09-2009 at 11:11 PM..
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:43 PM
 
3,166 posts, read 3,981,017 times
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I am glad that you like Kent Gardens. But that does not negate my argument that all day kindergarten and language immersion was put into low scoring schools, and/or schools with dwindling populations. Prior to French immersion at Kent Gardens, their population was dwindling and they were the lowest scoring school in McLean. But the other language immersion schools were/are in even lower income/lower scoring/dwindling populations schools.

Yes, 32 schools have FLES, including Wolftrap. That means about an hour a week of foreign language. It's not immersion and it's not a hugely popular program for the simple reason that kids learn very little foreign language in an hour a week. Most parents care far more about the math curriculum, and a hundred other things, than they care about an hour of foreign language a week. Although I am sure that it's nice for kids to learn to count to 10 in Chinese. I hear they enjoy the Chinese food snacks too.

Wasn't the discussion about Language immersion, rather than the little FLES program?
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,522 posts, read 1,818,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisplyr View Post
Also my sisters son is going to Kindergarten next month, and they have full day kindergarten in Centreville. Why doesn't Loudoun have this?
99 out of 139 elementary schools in Fairfax County have full day Kindergarten.

I'll let you decide for yourself if you think that 99 out of 139 elementary schools in Fairfax County are in "poorer areas with low scores" as another poster has suggested.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
1,993 posts, read 2,675,663 times
Reputation: 1038
Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisplyr View Post
I was at my sisters house in Centreville today looking at a school catalog for local Fairfax County. They mention something about immersion schools. Seems FFX County FCPS has immersion schools in French, Spanish, German, and Japanese. While they are not full immersion, just part time, at least FCPS offers this and has a lottery system. It is only available at some schools and you must apply for this.

Why doesn't Loudoun County have anything like this? Also my sisters son is going to Kindergarten next month, and they have full day kindergarten in Centreville. Why doesn't Loudoun have this?

Seems FCPS has a much better program overall. Any thoughts?
Loudoun doesn't have full day kindergarten in most schools because it doesn't have the money or space. There are some full-day kindergarten programs in Loudoun - last year, Aldie, Hillsboro, and Lincoln opened up full-day programs, and as under-enrolled schools, any Loudoun student could apply for a spot there; parents camped out overnight to register for the few places available. There are also full-day programs at Cedar Lane, Cool Spring, Countryside, Newton-Lee, Round Hill, Sugarland, Sully and Sycolin Creek. In Loudoun, full-day programs have been targeted to populations which are 'at risk' - children whose language skills and economic status could cause them to have a more difficult transition to school than other children. Many parents in my neighborhood send their kids to private full-day kindergarten and then bring them back to the local school for 1st grade.

LCPS doesn't have full immersion, but does have a Spanish FLES program in all schools.
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