To the editor:

We are disappointed with West Noble administration's decision to cancel the dual language program. We strongly believe that this program benefits our community in multiple ways. Organizations such as law enforcement, banks, city government, retail stores, insurance offices, realtors, restaurants, factories, and more all benefit from bilingual employees.

The West Noble school district is about 50% Hispanic, which makes the dual language program even more valuable. The more bilingual people who live in our community, the more it will prosper.

Research consistently shows the benefits of learning language from a young age. Benefits include language skills, cognitive skills, cultural competency, and job opportunities where bilingualism and bi-literacy are assets. Children naturally acquire language skills much more easily than adults.

West Noble is giving up on one of its most valuable and unique programs by canceling dual language. Two hundred committed families are disappointed. Administrators made the decision without input from teachers or parents who are highly invested in the program. This is an example of poor leadership and communication, and we expect more from our schools.

West Noble’s policy manual states: “The School Board believes that the education of children is a joint responsibility, one it shares with the parents of the school community. To ensure that the best interests of the child are served in this process, a strong program of communication between home and school must be maintained.”

Dual language parents and staff have shown their willingness to work with the administration toward a collective goal. We are waiting for the administration to be willing as well.

We ask the West Noble administration and the school board to reconsider their decision. Together we can find a solution that helps our community and our children reach their full potential.

Marta Wysong

Wawaka

Representative of West Noble Parents for Dual Language

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