Monday, November 22, 2021

Roosevelt Island And Upper East Side NYC District 2 School Parents Urge DOE To Expand French/English Dual Language Pre K Program To K-5 Grades, Sign Up For Information Session - Local NYC Council Member Kallos And Council Member-Elect Menin Support Program Expansion

Nadia Levy and St├ęphane Lautner are parents and organizers of an initiative to bring free dual language French-English classes for children in NYC District 2 Community Schools which include PS/IS 217 on Roosevelt Island

According to Ms Levy and Mr Lautner:

The Upper East Side Francophone Dual Language Initiative is an organization that successfully created two Pre-K classes on the Upper East Side, and is currently working hard for the implementation of a Francophone dual language program in School District 2 public schools serving the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island. 

The organization is planning a discussion session on Roosevelt Island for parents who may be interested in more information in the program. Space may be limited; so please RSVP at this link. Further information — including the date, time and location of the meeting — will be forwarded after registration.

Roosevelt Island resident Bafode Drame adds:

The Dual Language, French-English Initiative that created a free Pre-K public school program in District 2, is trying to extend the program to grades K-5, and also reaching out to the RI community to raise awareness for the free public school program in District 2 that includes Roosevelt Island.
Tap Into Sutton Place/Lenox Hill reported in October 2020:

Council Member Ben Kallos led a ribbon cutting to announce the availability of 40 Pre-K Seats for a French dual language program that will serve members of the Francophone community on the East Side.

According to Council Member Kallos, the New York City Department of Education will operate the classes using a side-by-side instructional model where it will have one Early Childhood-certified teacher who is fluent in French and who has or will work towards a bilingual extension, alongside a second Early Childhood-certified teacher.

Classes started at the Pre-K Center at 355 East 76th Street on September 21....

But in January 2021 Tap Into Sutton Place/Lenox Hill added:

Parents on the Upper East Side were thrilled when, after their hard work and support from elected officials, the Department of Education opened a pre-K French dual language program last October. The parents, however, had also worked with the DOE to identify a public school on the Upper East Side that would host a K-5 French dual language program so that the pre-K students could continue their second language studies. But on Monday afternoon, the DOE informed the parents that it would not be opening a K-5 program for the new school year in September....
Ms Levy reported last week:
The DOE had promised to help that happen, but did not keep their word last year.  We are trying to change that this year. We are hopeful with the new mayor, things may change. 
Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side NYC Council Member Ben Kallos supports expansion of the dual French/English language program to K-5 grades in District 2. According to Mr Kallos:

Roosevelt Island is an incredibly diverse community, including families from Francophone countries all over the world. The Upper East Side's French Dual Language program has been a success, with some Roosevelt Islanders already participating. 
Expanding this program would open more seats to interested families, and would be a great opportunity for the Island's international community. Thank you to the parents who have tirelessly advocated for these programs, not only for their own children, but for the community as a whole.

Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side NYC Council Member-elect Julie Menin adds:

The Department of Education must expand the French dual language program within Community School District 2, which enables students to write, read and speak in both English and their home language. Assisting our bilingual families supports the multiculturalism that is a central component of New York City’s identity. It is essential that the Department of Education reconsider this decision.
I asked the NYC Department of Education for comment earlier today and will update with any response. 

Register here to attend an Information Session on the Dual French/English Dual Language Initiative for District 2.