The Draper Elementary Dragons sure know a thing or two about celebrating the Lunar New Year.

In what has become a proud tradition, students this week performed Chinese songs and dances in the school’s brightly decorated gym while beaming parents looked on — the culmination of weeks of rehearsal and preparation and years of instruction in Mandarin. The school also welcomed visitors from the University of Utah's Confucius Institute who are interested in hearing from students and parents about their experience with Dual Language Immersion, a model of instruction that is catching on nationally as an effective and efficient means of achieving fluency in a non-native language.

No other state has articulated a K-16 model like that being pioneered in Utah where, if students pass an Advanced Placement exam with a score of 3 or above, they can start taking college-level courses for early college credit. Canyons’ first Spanish, French and Chinese DLI classes opened in 2009, the same year that the District was founded. The District now home to DLI programs at 19 schools — and is committed to seeing the program thrive and grow. Kiddos

To meet growing demand for Spanish DLI, administrators are recommending launching two additional Spanish programs in 2020-2021. The recommendation follows a year-long review of CSD’s DLI programs undertaken by a committee of parents, teachers, administrators, principals, teacher specialists, and members of the Board of Education. The District routinely performs such reviews to maintain the quality and sustainability of all our programs.

The committee, which looked at costs, student achievement data and the results of polls taken of parents, principals, and teachers, also identified opportunities for improvement stemming from challenges the program faces due to its unusual structure.

Two committee recommendations to address these challenges will be taken under advisement before being considered again by the Board. Both aim to address declining enrollment in middle and high schools, which leads to funding constraints and hiring and staffing difficulties.

The first idea would be to centralize all middle school DLI programs and move them to Crescent View, a school building the District owns and often uses to temporarily house students whose schools are being rebuilt. Before being considered by the Board, this recommendation will be thoroughly reviewed by the District’s Long-Range Planning Committee, which is also weighing other possible uses for the Crescent View building.

A second idea is to centralize high school and college-level DLI courses, mostly at Jordan High. DLI students would remain at their existing high school and travel to Jordan for their DLI class, much like students do now for career and technical education courses at the Canyons Technical Education Center.

Any location changes, if approved by the Board after seeking further public input, likely wouldn’t take effect until 2022 or 2023 or after.

As always, the District welcomes input from parents, students and teachers.  Before CSD would consider major changes to the DLI program, information would be sent to parents so they could provide feedback and plan appropriately for their families.

Parents with questions or input are encouraged to email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The week before Thanksgiving, Ofelia Wade received with characteristic humility a special token of gratitude and appreciation from the Spanish government that was 10 years in the making.

Wade, who serves as the Dual Language Immersion Spanish Coordinator for Canyons and the state of Utah, was invited by Spanish Ambassador Santiago Cabanas to attend a ceremony at the Spanish Embassy in Washington D.C. to receive the prestigious Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio award for her work promoting Spanish dual-language immersion in Utah.

OrdenThe award is often bestowed by the King of Spain in his home country, but alternate arrangements were made in this case to accommodate Wade’s location in the United States. The Civil Order of Alfonxo X the Wise award is a rare honor reserved for those who have made exceptional achievements in education, science, culture, teaching or research. For Wade, it's validation of Canyons’ important work to build a strong relationship between Canyons’ Dual Language Immersion Program and the Spanish Embassy.

“We have worked very hard to create a welcoming and facilitative environment for our international teachers to come and bring their very best in terms of language and culture for our students,” Wade says. “(This award) is a reflection of the collaborative work we do here to benefit our students and facilitate a wonderful, professional growing experience for our international teachers.” OfeliaWade

Wade was only one of two people in the United States this year to receive the Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio cross.

A model of bilingual instruction dating back to the 1960s, immersion programs are surfacing in classrooms around the globe as an efficient path to proficiency in a world language. Children in dual language immersion programs spend half the day learning core subjects in English and the other half learning in a target language. 

CSD’s first immersion classes opened in 2009, the same year that the District was founded. The District is now home to 19 elementary and secondary school immersion programs in Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese. More than 10 percent of CSD’s 34,000 students are now learning a world language through the program, which extends through high school where, if they pass an Advanced Placement exam, students can start taking college-level courses for early college credit.
Calling all bilingual 11th and 12th grade students: If you’re fluent in two or more languages, you can apply to have an official Seal of Biliteracy added to your high school transcripts.  

The Seal of Biliteracy is placed on a high school graduate's transcript by the state of Utah to certify for employers and universities that the student has demonstrated proficiency in English and at least one world language. It is evidence of a student's readiness for a career, college and for engagement as a global citizen. 

Last year, 102 Canyons District graduates received Seals of Biliteracy on their diplomas. Currently enrolled high school juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for the seal starting Monday, Dec. 2. The application window closes on Jan. 24, 2020.  

New this year: Students can complete the application online from the comfort of their homes at https://sealofbiliteracy.canyonsdistrict.org/. As part of the application process, students may be required to take a language proficiency exam at their high school sometime between March 3-14. Individual schools will determine the date, time and location of testing. Students may also demonstrate their proficiency by achieving a score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement exam in their world language.

There are no fees associated with the first application. But if a student chooses to demonstrate fluency in more than one world language, a $20 testing fee may apply.


Additional guidelines and information about the requirements can be found on the Utah State Board of Education’s website.

Did you know in Canyons District, it's possible to learn two languages at the same time and to graduate from high school fluent in both?

The start of October signals the opening of the window to apply for Canyons District's Dual Language Immersion Programs for the 2020-2021 school year. From Monday, Oct. 7 to Tuesday, Nov. 26, parents and guardians can apply online to have their children learn Spanish, French or Mandarin Chinese.

In addition, parents and guardians who have questions about the programs are invited to a Parent Information Night on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The 6-8 p.m. event will be held in the Atrium at Jordan High School, 95 E. Beetdigger Blvd. (9880 S.) in Sandy.

Please note, that students with siblings currently enrolled in a Dual-Language Immersion school must still submit applications by the Nov. 26 deadline. A lottery will be held to determine entrance into the programs if the number of applicants exceeds the 56 seats available per entering class.DLIinset

On the application, parents will be asked to list their top three preferred languages and schools. Parents will be notified of their children’s acceptance into a program, or be given a choice of possible programs, on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. All programs, except for the one at Midvale Elementary, are for students entering first grade in 2020-2021.

Midvale Elementary’s Spanish-English program operates a bit differently: It starts in kindergarten, and due to the fact that enrollment at the school is at-capacity, it’s only open to students who live inside the school’s boundaries. Spanish, however, also is offered at Alta View and Silver Mesa. French is taught at Butler Elementary and Oak Hollow. The schools offering Mandarin are Draper Elementary, Lone Peak, and Ridgecrest.

A model of bilingual instruction dating back to the 1960s, immersion programs are surfacing in classrooms around the globe as an efficient path to proficiency in a world language. Children in dual language immersion programs spend half the day learning core subjects in English and the other half learning in a target language. 

CSD’s first immersion classes opened in 2009, the same year that the District was founded. The District is now home to 19 elementary and secondary school immersion programs. More than 10 percent of CSD’s 34,000 students are now learning a world language through the program, which extends through high school where, if they pass an Advanced Placement exam, students can start taking college-level courses for early college credit.

Questions? Call the Instructional Supports Department at 801-826-5026.
Parents of middle and high school students enrolled in Canyons District's Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Programs have been invited to a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18 to learn about DLI instruction at the secondary-school level.

The 6 p.m. event will be in the Media Center at the Crescent View Building, 11150 S. Green Ridge Dr. in Sandy. The building is best accessed from 11400 S. and 300 East.

Canyons curriculum specialists will be on hand to discuss program basics, such as, course pathways and the required forms that families need to complete and sign. They’ll also be sharing data from last year’s Advanced Placement exams and reporting on a review now underway of the District’s dual-language programs.

Following the opening presentation, language specific breakouts will be held in separate rooms where DLI teachers will share and explain curriculum and resources, as well as answer any curriculum-related questions. A representative of the Mandarin Matrix Chinese curriculum will join the Chinese breakout to explain the in-classroom and at-home resources available through this tool.

More information about Canyons’ DLI program can be found online. Questions? Please call the CSD Instructional Supports Department at 801 826 5045.
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