Monday, June 1, 2020
Dual Immersion Cancelled at Hemingway Ahead of Kindergarten Registration
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Preschool and kindergarten registration starts Monday. COURTESY: Blaine County School District
 
Friday, May 15, 2020
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Dual Immersion program at Hemingway STEAM School has been eliminated.

Blaine County School District Trustees voted 3-1 this week to cancel the program.

They did, however, decide to provide busing for current Dual Immersion students at Hemingway to Alturas Elementary School in Hailey. They will also provide extra support for first and second graders who decide to stay at Hemingway by keeping them in class together and giving them the support they need to catch up to grade level.

“This was a difficult decision, especially as it was so sudden and abrupt. Nonetheless, it is the board’s job to evaluate the situation and make the best decision we can under the circumstances, which I believe we did,” said Trustee Lara Stone.

The board spent more than an hour discussing input and questions they received from 55 parents, as well as the impact of various actions.

One of the problems, Stone said, is that the school district does not have enough bilingual, certified teachers to fully staff the program at Hemingway this fall. It’s not just a local problem—finding enough skilled bilingual staff is a long-standing issue across the nation.

Fifteen miles to the south, Alturas Elementary is a fully dedicated dual immersion school with capacity for more students. It has 21 native Spanish speakers on staff with four classrooms per grade and teachers teaching in their native language.

Trustees decided they needed to make their decision before kindergarten and preschool registration, which is scheduled May 18-19.

SCHOOL REGISTRATION STARTS MONDAY

Registration for all-day kindergarten and half-day preschool will take place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Monday and Tuesday, May 18 and 19 at Alturas, Bellevue, Hailey and Hemingway schools.

New this year: Parents will register their children at the school they plan to attend, rather than at the Community Campus.

As a magnet school, Alturas Elementary is open to all Blaine County students. It does not, however, offer preschool.

Parents or guardians can register online at www.blaineschools.org and bring the paperwork to the school afterwards. They also need an original state-certified birth certificate and documented proof of residency with a physical address in Blaine County, as well as immunization records.

Those registering for preschool need to bring their 2019 federal tax returns.

Students entering kindergarten must be 5 years of age on or before Sept. 1, 2020. Students entering preschools must be 4 on or before Sept. 1, 2020.

For information, visit www.blaineschools.org or call 208-578-5000.

 

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