The Garden Grove Unified School District held a ceremonial opening of its first dual language immersion program Monday, joining 13 other Orange County school districts offering two-way language education.

Attended by public officials, community leaders and parents, the “Going Global Launch Party” at James Monroe Elementary School in Fountain Valley showcased the benefits of the Monroe Elementary Language Academy with a video presentation, a performance by kindergarten students, classroom visits and presentations of proclamations by elected officials.

Aligned with OCDE’s vision of college and career readiness and success for all students, two-way language immersion programs look to build on the strength of Orange County’s diverse population and support the goal of preparing all students to successfully compete and lead in the 21st century.

“Our goals were driven by the board’s belief that 21st-century students must be prepared to work in a diverse global economy,” said GGUSD Board of Education President Dr. George West.  “Students will have the keys to open doors in an increasingly competitive job market.” 

Monroe’s Principal Cesar Loya highlighted the significant academic gains that come with learning a second language and discussed how better communication can lead to greater success in today’s world.

“At Monroe, language is not a barrier – it’s a unifier that is bringing our students together,” said Loya. “We have students from all walks of life and a wide array of language backgrounds, but they are working side-by-side and helping each other progress.”

The academy at Monroe follows a 90:10 model with students learning in Spanish 90 percent of the time and English 10 percent of the time for kindergarten through first grade, ultimately reaching 50 percent of each language by sixth grade.

The other Orange County school districts that offer dual language immersion programs are Anaheim Elementary, Anaheim Union High, Capistrano Unified, Fullerton, La Habra City, Magnolia, Newport-Mesa Unified, Orange Unified, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified, Saddleback Valley Unified, Santa Ana Unified, Tustin Unified and Westminster.

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