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Wake County, N.C. school district seeks to keep families public with magnet immersion

October 13, 2014


Wake school plan looks to boost immersion programs at Broughton, Daniels

khui@newsobserver.comOctober 12, 2014 Updated 6 hours ago

  • LANGUAGE IMMERSIONImmersion programs, in which students spend half or more of their school day taking their courses in a foreign language, are rising in popularity. According to Wake County school officials, there were 77 immersion programs in North Carolina public and private schools last school year.

    Jeffreys Grove Elementary offers a Spanish full immersion program and Stough Elementary offers a Mandarin full immersion program. This means students in the program take their core courses – language arts, math, social studies and science – solely in that language.

    Hodge Road Elementary offers a dual immersion Spanish program, meaning students alternate taking their core courses in Spanish and English.

    School administrators want to magnetize Daniels Middle School and Broughton High School so that the Stough and Jeffreys Grove students can continue their studies and other students can take global studies classes. No recommendation has been made yet on where to send the Hodge Road students.

 — A plan to expand Wake County’s magnet school program is drawing complaints that the development is a case of school leaders favoring older, established neighborhoods in Raleigh.

School administrators want Jeffreys Grove and Stough elementary schools in Raleigh and Hodge Road Elementary School in Knightdale to become magnet schools so that families across the district can attend the language immersion programs at the schools. But administrators also want Daniels Middle School and Broughton High School in Raleigh to become magnet schools to create a K-12 immersion/global studies theme.

Critics question magnetizing Broughton and Daniels, both of which are located near Cameron Village and serve some of Raleigh’s most affluent neighborhoods.

“Wake County is pandering to the wealthy inside-the-Beltline families,” said Allison Backhouse, an Apex parent and critic of the school board. “They’re going to use taxpayer money to keep the children of the wealthy.”

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