As Lake Norman Elementary Principal Mark Shinkaruk rose to speak to his faculty after school on February 7th, the air was thick with anticipation. The first words Mr. Shinkaruk spoke were to thank his staff for always putting students first. “We have a strong team, a strong family here at Lake Norman Elementary. I would like to ask for your support as we enter the Dual Immersion world.”
Earlier in the month, Mr. Shinkaruk and six of his teachers had visited the Spanish Dual Immersion program at East Iredell Elementary School. Staff from Lake Norman Elementary had been asked for their feedback on the possibility of offering dual language immersion prior to this announcement. “The visit was instrumental in confirming my thoughts and our teachers were very impressed with the level of student engagement”, Mr. Shinkaruk said. “What an advantage to our incoming kindergarten students.”
Mr. Shinkaruk introduced Dian Morgan, Director of Federal Programs for Iredell-Statesville Schools. Mrs. Morgan presented to the staff the operational side of launching a dual immersion program. “Kindergarten students spend 90% of their time immersed in Spanish,” she said. “The balance of their elementary years are spent learning and speaking 50% in Spanish, 50% in English.”
Dual language immersion will be an option for incoming kindergarten students in the 2017-18 school year at Lake Norman Elementary School, with the traditional pathway available as well. “This dual language program will not at all affect the tremendous educational opportunities for students who do not choose to take this path,” Mr. Shinkaruk added. “We are proud to be able to offer this as an addition to our students and families.”
For further information on the Dual Language Immersion program, or information about kindergarten registration, visit the Lake Norman Elementary School website (www.iss.k12.nc.us.) or call them at (704) 662-8261.
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