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TUSD moves forward with immersion program expansion
Sixth grade move to Dutcher, immersion strand at Wakefield both set for 2016
Osborn sign
Osborn will hire more staff, build a temporary eating area and install portable restrooms to accommodate close to 1,000 students next year. - photo by Journal file photo

Just as Turlock Unified School District was getting accustomed to fervent discussions regarding the upcoming expansion of the Dual Immersion Program at Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy, an informational update encompassing the expansion’s timeline was quietly met without protest during Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

The timeline, which was provided strictly as an informational item, takes into account the combined efforts of the Dual Immersion Expansion Team, which consists of teachers, site administrators, district administrators, instructional coaches and parents over the next 18 months.

“The focus of this evening’s presentation is to share our recent work and our plans for the next 18 months leading up to some major changes for TUSD,” said Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Dana Salles Trevethan.

“Specific days may not be there yet, but we do know as far as looking at the next 18 months when the crucial things need to happen and when they need to happen by in order to make sure the plan and our program does progress,” added Trevethan.

As was unanimously approved in March, current grades and classes will be maintained at Osborn in the 2015-16 academic year as the school plans to reach maximum capacity with over 1,000 students next year.

In order to effectively do this, the site will receive increased personnel, including crossing guards and campus and parking lot supervisors. According to Trevethan, the school has already hired and incorporated one additional crossing guard and one campus supervisor.

The school will also welcome additional facility accommodations, including a temporary eating area and portable restroom facilities—the latter of which is to be provided by Mobile Modular Management Corporation.

While the placement of concrete for additional food points is tentatively scheduled to begin in July, the portable restroom facilities will begin construction a month earlier in June.

“This facility will be located west of the existing classrooms on the edge of the existing blacktop,” said Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Mike Trainor.

The interim portable restroom facility will be 12 feet by 40 feet and will accommodate both male and female students. According to the District, the total cost of the facility over a 12-month term stands at over  $22,783.

While the District continues to take measures in order to provide a safe and productive campus at Osborn for the 2015-16 school year, it will be concurrently planning expansive measures to be implemented at Dutcher Middle School and Wakefield Elementary School the following year.

In 2016-17 school year, the District plans to move Dual Immersion sixth grade students at Osborn to DMS in order to “create an authentic middle school culture.” Additionally, this plan aims to effectively expand Dual Immersion and align to new Common Core State Standards required in sixth through eighth grade.

DMS will not only receive an influx of sixth graders from Osborn in the 2016-17 academic year, but it will also expand the middle school concept to non-immersion sixth grade students on campus by including additional classes in the lottery process.

Changes are also due for Wakefield, as the site is set to establish its own immersion strand to increase enrollment and create more opportunities for more students according to the District.

The new strand will progressively grow larger until it joins Osborn as a second magnet school in TUSD that is fully devoted to two-way bilingual immersion.

As reflected in an 18-month timeline, the expansion team will meet nearly every month until August 2016 to plan and revise how the District will implement the aforementioned options. Members of the team will also be responsible for updating the TUSD Board of Trustees during their monthly meetings throughout the school year.

The expansion team will also take into account representative stakeholders in all discussion and planning processes to produce a shared decision making and team approach that will ultimately foster ownership and a collective vision, according to the District.

 “It’s amazing when you bring a large group of people who represent all stakeholders in the planning and change of something this large in our district,” said Trevethan. “One person cannot possibly think of every hurdle or anticipate every obstacle.”