Violet is starting dual language kindergarten this fall! Â This is the culmination of three years of hard work and, while it didn’t turn out exactly how I’d hoped, I am SO excited. Â And terrified. Â And relieved. Â And… well… let’s just say there is a lot to think about.
Here’s our journey in a nutshell:
We moved to Austin after teaching English in Korea for 3 years. Â I got into the Foreign Language Education Master’s program at UT. Â After Violet was born I wondered what dual language program she would attend, only to realize that there isn’t one here.
So I started my own website to to to mobilize like-minded locals. Â Then I joined forces with Austin Community School, a proposed dual language charter, and eventually became board secretary. Â This was the only DL game in town. Â What happened for the next 3 years was a lesson in how ridiculous, frustrating, and scaryÂ bureaucracy and educational politics can be, especially in Texas. Â Â Add this to the usual strains of recruiting and working with volunteers in the world of non-profits and the result is a lot of work for not a lot of reward.
So ACS is not open… yet. Â But what about Violet and Graham? Â The way dual language education works is that kids start in kinder or 1st grade and stick with the program for at least 5 years. Â If Violet misses that window she’s out of luck.
Thankfully a new superintendent swept into Austin, turning the district’s long held belief about bilingual education on its head. Â ACS joined in the effort to get a DL program started in AISD. Â Their board eventually voted to start 4 pilot programs this fall.
They held a lottery for the limited number of slots, and we won a spot! Â Unfortunately, the program isn’t in our neighborhood school. Â But it is in a school close to Rob’s work. Â He’ll drop Violet off every morning.
So this is the end of the beginning. Â Now we see exactly what we’ve gotten ourselves into. Â I haveÂ ridiculousÂ amounts to say on the subject. Â And you know what that means… Â a New Blog! Â Yes, I’ll be pontificating about dual language immersion and our journey towards becoming a bilingual family. Â It’s called “Â¿Y Ahora Que?” and so far there is absolutely nothing on it. Â But put it in your feed reader anyway.