Fiscal Year 2017 → Question 9
The requested budget of $85,920 for the Kemp Mill Dual Language program is for contractual services with the Center for Applied Linguistics for the external review, professional learning, and instructional materials. An external review of the Kemp Mill Dual Language program is required because the unique nature and status of the program within the school system requires a level of programmatic expertise that does not exist within the Office of Shared Accountability. There are multiple models of dual language programs nationally. In one model, the language of instruction changes each day with a bilingual team teaching approach and other programs provide initial literacy instruction in the native language and move to dual language literacy. An external review by an expert with an understanding of the full array of programmatic choices as well as the research on the effectiveness of the various programmatic choices will better position the school system to make decisions about modification and replication of the dual language program currently housed at Kemp Mill Elementary School. Both the Choice Study and the Superintendent’s Fiscal Year 2017 Recommended Operating Budget envision an enhanced role for dual language programs within the school district. That vision is predicated on the ability to gain a deep understanding of both the current functioning of the dual language program at Kemp Mill Elementary School and where that program is situated within the national context of dual language programs. It is imperative as the number of English Language Learners continue to increase within the student population that Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) continues to seek out best practices and innovative ways to ensure that all students have the opportunity to access the full promise of the MCPS curriculum. Dual language programs have been identified as such a promising approach.
As a component of the review, there may well be modifications made to the only program currently operating in MCPS. One of the purposes of the review is to determine the cost of operating and replicating a highly effective dual language program within MCPS and will be one of the outcomes of the external review.