DLBE Past Presentations and Historical Information

DLBE at MKES: An Introduction to Dual Language Bilingual Education

Side by side DLBE classrooms in Grade 1
  • Presentations from past meetings 

    In 2010, MKES introduced a transitional bilingual education program (TBE) to provide mandated bilingual instruction for the increasing number of Spanish-speaking ELLs at MKES. Bilingual instruction was delivered by a bilingual elementary teacher in a pull-out model. As a pull-out program, TBE posed a number of challenges. For example, pull-out groups were often larger than the number of students who remained in the mainstream grade-level classroom. Additionally, there were scheduling and space challenges. ELLs in K-2 were typically moving four times a day to and from ESOL and bilingual classrooms for mandated instruction. As a result, instructional time was lost, and ELLs experienced fragmentation throughout their day.

    In September 2012, the Department of English to Speakers of Other Languages, in conjunction with Mount Kisco Elementary School and the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, convened a variety of stakeholders to form the Bilingual Instruction Study Committee (BISC). The purpose of the Committee was to conduct an intensive study on models of bilingual instruction with the ultimate charge of reporting its findings to the Superintendent, Board of Education and broader community and develop a recommendation and long-range plan for bilingual instruction at MKES. In January 2014, the BISC Committee presented this report. The following is a link to a March 20, 2013 presentation during which the BISC Committee recommended to the Board the implementation of a DLBE program at MKES beginning in the fall of 2014. 

    Since the inception of the DLBE program at MKES, approximately 85% of MKES families have participated in the Dual Language Bilingual Education (DLBE) instructional model, as opposed to a traditional (English taught) program. There had typically been one traditional (instruction in English only) section per grade level at MKES, with these children advancing through the elementary grades together as a cohort. A number of parents of children in this traditional program felt this limited socialization. Solutions to this challenge were elusive. 

    In April 2017, the Board of Education charged the Superintendent of Schools with evaluating the DLBE program, and more specifically, how MKES serves children who participate in the traditional (English-only taught) sections. Beginning in May 2017, the Superintendent of Schools convened a working group of school leaders to study, evaluate, and analyze the MKES instructional program model. The group met weekly and engaged in a systematic process of evaluating program alternatives at MKES. This report details the work of the Committee. The team ultimately identified two viable alternatives to effectively meet the needs of all students:

    1. The creation of a DLBE School of Choice open to students across the District, with MKES children having the first choice of seats; or,
    2. Continuing with the current model at MKES, with full choice, with enhanced, consistent, and systematic methods of better integrating the children in the traditional sections with children in the DLBE sections.

    The Board of Education voted upon and did not approve the School of Choice option; and, therefore, the administration implemented the latter alternative. In January 2018, MKES began the enhancement of efforts to integrate students in the traditional sections in the curricular and instructional program and socially in the broader MKES school community of learners. In September 2018 additional efforts and strategies were implemented. In a fairly short period of time, there was a consensus that this approach was not working well. Teacher, students, and parents alike experienced various challenges and concerns with the model. The Board of Education decided to revisit the concept of MKES as a School of Choice with a number of modifications to the model presented the prior year. The Board Policy Committee, administration, and Board legal counsel worked together to craft a policy to govern a DLBE School of Choice at MKES.  The Policy was approved by the Board of Education on December 12, 2018. On December 14, 2018, the District announced the DLBE School of Choice at MKES program and initiated the process of implementation.