Overview

  • dual ed group with comment clouds With all of the recent growth in Forney, the district is converting Rhea and Smith elementary schools into 5th and 6th grade intermediate campuses.  This conversion will increase capacities at both campuses, as well as provide needed changes to the district’s educational model. With this conversion comes new opportunities. One such opportunity has to do with our Dual Language program.  

    Currently, the district offers a Two-Way Dual Language program to eligible students in grades PK-6.  The program is comprised of both English speaking and Spanish speaking students. Currently, the program is spread across four campuses, two on each side of town.  Smith and Blackburn elementary schools house our north-side Dual Language students and Claybon and Rhea elementary schools house our south-side Dual Language students.   

    Once Smith and Rhea are converted to 5th and 6th grade intermediate campuses in the fall of 2019, we will need to relocate the Dual Language program sites.   

    To tackle this challenge, Forney ISD assembled a team of parents, teachers, and administrators to:  

    • collect and evaluate enrollment data

    • gather and examine stakeholder feedback 

    • examine demographer reports 

    • recommend a new plan for our Dual Language program 

    After reviewing all of this data, the team identified a number of program strengths, such as:

    • instructional practice

    • campus support

    • student identification

    • student performance

    • district-level support   

    However, they also found that the program had a few weaknesses, including:

    • ESL support

    • teacher training

    • fidelity and consistency between campuses  

    • resource availability

    • parent involvement. 

    The team then discussed ways to maintain the program’s strengths, while offsetting it’s weaknesses.  They ultimately arrived at the following recommendation:

    • Pre-K Dual Language students will be housed at the newly converted Forney Academic Center.  This change will take place in the fall of 2018.

    • Beginning the following year, in the fall of 2019, Dual Language students in grades Kindergarten through fourth will all be housed on one elementary campus.  This unified model will allow the program to become more efficient in the sharing of resources, as well as provide more teacher collaboration, fidelity, consistency, and accountability.

    • Finally, also in the fall of 2019, Dual Language students in 5th and 6th grade will move to their respective intermediate campuses on each side of town, where student cohorts will begin to develop their class identity.  They will carry their identities as Jackrabbits and Falcons as they move to middle and high school.  By providing the program at each intermediate campus, Dual Language students will be able to participate in this identity-building process. 

    Once the team arrived at this proposal, the only thing left to determine was the location of the K-4 district program.  They started by looking at every possible elementary location.  But since Rhea and Smith will be converted into intermediate campuses, they had to be removed as options.  The team then looked at other parameters such as whether campuses were centrally located and how much growth they were likely to see based on current demographic trends.  After looking at these parameters, they narrowed the search down to three campus sites:  Claybon, Crosby, and Criswell.  They looked at each campus individually and discussed a number of possibilities, but ultimately Criswell elementary scored the highest of the three.  

    If you are involved in Forney ISD’s Dual Language program, you probably have some questions.  We want to do our best to answer them, but we need your help. We will do our best to prepare an FAQ answering those questions, as well as provide answers at upcoming parent meetings. We will also need help from our parents  Be on the lookout for announcements for these meetings as we move forward with this new plan for FISD’s Dual Language program.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to email Sandra Whitley at sandra.whitley@edu.forneyisd.net.

Dual Language FAQs

  • Will transportation be provided for students on the English side of Dual Language?

    In our current Dual Language model, bus transportation will continue for qualifying students on the Spanish side. We will evaluate transportation options for students in the English side of Dual Language. 

    In 2019-20, all qualifying students will receive transportation to Rhea and Smith intermediates, including students participating in the Dual Language program.

    Where will the Dual Language program be in the 2019-2020 school year?

    K-4 Dual Language will be at Criswell Elementary. 5-6 grade students will be located at their home intermediate campus for services and programs.

    Where will the Dual Language program be in the 2018-2019 school year?

    There will be no changes to the program for the 2018-2019 school year, except that the Prekindergarten Dual Language classes will be housed at the Forney Academic Center.

    Will the Dual Language students have the same opportunities for electives at the intermediate campuses?

    Yes. Each intermediate campus will provide elective opportunities for all students, including the Dual Language students.  These opportunities include art, band, choir, pre-athletics (6th grade), and STEM.

    Why can’t we leave the K-4 program on both the north and south sides of Forney?

    When we combine Kindergarten through fourth grades onto one campus, we increase the quality and efficiency of the program by providing multiple opportunities for our bilingual teachers to collaborate, both vertically and horizontally, as well as streamline the use of resources.

    Why will both Rhea and Smith have Dual Language programs?

    Students will begin taking electives that are vertically aligned with the middle and high school programs and Dual Language students will have access to all of them.