Tulsa Public Schools Expands Multilingual Program At Springdale Elementary

Sunday, June 19th 2022, 9:28 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Public Schools will be expanding its multilingual program at Springdale Elementary.

Native English-speaking students will now have the chance to learn Spanish at a young age.

"I think they're just going to embrace it and roll with it," said Springdale Elementary Principal Rebecca Bacon. "I think they are just going to love it."

The two-way program will be open to both native English and native Spanish speakers, as opposed to a one-way program, which the district says is entirely Spanish-dominate speakers being taught English and Spanish.

Liliane Vannoy with Tulsa Public Schools said starting students young will pay dividends much farther in the future.

"It is one of the best opportunities if you can have them start as early as possible because you create that entire academic vocabulary in at least the seven years they were in elementary school," says Liliane Vannoy with Tulsa Public Schools.

Right now, the district has five other elementary schools offering two-way language programming.

Springdale Principal Rebecca Bacon said language is power and that she is glad Springdale will give students a chance to learn an invaluable skill.

"In a global community where other countries....everybody speaks usually two or three languages," Bacon said. "It's us Americans that are only speaking English. I think It's a very powerful tool."

Bacon said that since Tulsa Public Schools has a student body that is 37 percent Hispanic, she is grateful to be in a district that cares deeply about being inclusive.

"I am really proud of Tulsa Public Schools and to be an employee of Tulsa Public Schools because equity is one of our core values and we are really making an equitable learning environment for our students," Bacon said.

Springdale plans to be a Pre-K to 5th-grade two-way dual language school by the 2027-2028 school year.