PS84’s French-English dual language program, a recipient of the prestigious FrancEducation Label from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recognition of its outstanding efforts in French language education, will have its first fifth grade class this Fall.
Unfortunately, these students are challenged to continue their dual language education, as there is no French-English public middle school program currently available in Manhattan. Considering all the studies on the benefits of bilingualism, it would be a travesty if their dual language education ended.
To better understand and measure parents’ interest in Dual Language Middle School programs, particularly the creation of a French-English option, a survey was conducted of PS84’s K-4 dual language classes (French and Spanish). The survey follows in the footsteps of last year’s 500+ signature petition seeking the expansion of PS84 and dual language programs into middle school.
The survey results were resoundingly positive. Families’ overall interest in a dual language middle school program was 92% very/extremely interested with 80% extremely interested. Families with children enrolled in the French dual language program expressed overall interest at 99% very/extremely interested with 87% extremely interested.
The survey further aimed to measure parents’ interest in three possible models for a dual language middle school program: expansion of PS84, an existing District 3 middle school (nicknamed the Brooklyn model for their French-English middle school adoption effort) and a new District 3 middle school. When asked to rank their choices, parents of dual language students chose the expansion of PS84 as #1, an existing middle school as #2 and a new middle school as #3.
Alas, like many New York City public school’s PS84 faces space limitations and the Department of Education (DOE) declined the school’s request to expand to serve grades K-8. Undeterred, a group of parents is continuing to work closely with Principal Sundick and various offices of the DOE to collaborate and explore middle school options for the students in the French Dual Language program.
More to follow in the months ahead….
PS84 Dual Language Middle School Options Committee