Waltham Dual Language School

Even before entering the Dual Language Program, my kids have all experienced language immersion. They all have gone or are in Spanish immersion daycare, followed by Mandarin immersion preschool. They also hear Cantonese from my side of the family, with the oldest going to Cantonese school on Saturdays. Needless to say, we are passionate about early second language exposure and acquisition.

Our family was lucky enough to have won the lottery. My son started Kindergarten in the 2022-23 school year. By the end of Kindergarten, he was reading in both Spanish and English. Because I want to be an engaged parent, I joined and became an active member of the PTO. Through this, I learned about the need for space and the inequities that our school has to overcome. 

I have spoken to the school committee after researching and combing through many articles on the benefits of 2-way immersion dual language programs and of having these programs run from K-8. Both native Spanish-speaking and native English-speaking students benefit from second language acquisition as well as cultural appreciation. I also spoke about having a safe and equitable environment for our students to learn and grow. 

To that point, I wholeheartedly support whole-heartedly a stand-alone school for the Waltham Dual Language School on the South side of Waltham. It will be most equitable for the reasons of transportation, safety, and space for our students and families who cannot get to the North side of town due to lack of public transportation. We cannot ask 5 to 8-year-olds sick at the nurse's office to wait 2-plus hours to get back to the comforts of their own home. We cannot ask our youngest students to share space with adults and influential middle schoolers nearby. 

What we need to do is ask the city to look at the city-owned and offered properties on the South Side and either build or refurbish a space into an intentional Urban dual language school for one of the best programs we have in Waltham.