February 8, 2018
Dear Wayland Public School Families:
I am excited to inform you that Wayland’s Spanish Immersion Program will begin in the fall of 2018 in a kindergarten section in one of the Wayland elementary schools. This cohort of twenty to twenty-three students will proceed through elementary school receiving academic instruction in Spanish according to best practices in immersion education.
The introduction of the immersion program is the expression of a town-wide passion for integrating world language study into the elementary schools. This strong interest was articulated at the 2015 School Committee Summit. After the Summit, the World Language Exploration Committee, which included community, staff and parents, studied different options for expanding world language instruction at the elementary level. The committee concluded that creating a one-section immersion program was an excellent first step for Wayland. (See the World Language Exploration Committee report at World Language Exploration K-6 Report.)
The Wayland Public Schools have hired Lilliana Smith, currently in her eighteenth year as a Spanish teacher in the Weston Public Schools, to serve as our curriculum designer, collaborating with our teachers and administrators to create our new Spanish early-elementary program. Ms. Smith has developed curriculum for a wide range of students, beginning with elementary students in her native Colombia more than twenty years ago. In addition, James Nocito has agreed to facilitate the community discussions about the new immersion program and supervise the process of selecting students through a random lottery process. Mr. Nocito has thirty-three years experience in public education, as a Spanish teacher, a K-12 World Language supervisor, and, currently, as a vice-principal at Wayland High School.
We are holding a parent information session on March 28, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Claypit Hill School where parents can find out more about our instructional approach to immersion and the kindergarten lottery process. Please keep in mind, that while we will announce the location of the program in the next few weeks, all Wayland kindergarten students, regardless of where they live, are eligible to participate in the Immersion Program.
Thank you very much for your support of this exciting new program.
Arthur Unobskey, Superintendent of Schools