LOGAN SQUARE — Goethe Elementary School was one of four public schools in Logan Square and Humboldt Park awarded new programming as part of the district’s recent $32 million funding announcement.
The Logan Square elementary school at 2236 N. Rockwell St. will soon roll out a dual language program which it hopes will further strengthen the bond between its English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students, parents and teachers.
Local School Council president Amanda Yarusso said unlike bilingual instruction, which the school already offers, the dual language program, set to roll out next school year, will “be more about integration.”
“Bilingual is for individuals who come into the program, primarily Spanish-speaking, to learn English and become proficient in English with the idea that, as you’re learning, you’ll be phasing out Spanish completely,” Yarusso said.
“Dual language is about teaching a mixed classroom of English and Spanish. … It complements our efforts and our philosophy.”
Goethe currently enrolls just under 750 students, about 72 percent of them low-income Hispanic, according to CPS data. White students make up about 18 percent of the school population.
“The reason we thought [the dual language program] was uniquely suited to our school is because we’re a school with quite a large percentage of Spanish-speaking students,” Yarusso said.
“Those families are shifting, even in how much Spanish is spoken in their homes, and the overall demographic in our school [is shifting], that it makes sense to focus less on the bilingual program. … This is a completely different program, where it’s about everyone learning in English and in Spanish together.”
Yarusso said the school community is thrilled to have been awarded the new program. She added that the reaction among parents, teachers and administrators to principal Barbara Kargas’ email was especially heartwarming.
“Everybody was well wishing and celebrating in English and in Spanish, which is the perfect little example of what this is all about,” Yarusso said.
Earlier this month, CPS announced it would invest $32 million in 32 public schools over the next six years. The money will fund new International Baccalaureate, STEM, fine and performing arts and dual language programs.
Since at least 2016, CPS has offered dual language programs at a number of schools. Next school year the program will be offered at 45 schools.
In addition to Goethe, three other elementary schools in Logan Square and Humboldt Park won new programming: Cameron Elementary School, 1234 N. Monticello Ave., is getting a fine and performing arts program, Chase Elementary School, 2021 N. Point St., is getting a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) program and Moos Elementary, 1711 N. California Ave. is getting a International Baccalaureate program.
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