William Cramp School students will soon receive the opportunity to get an early start on becoming biliterate and bilingual in English and Spanish. The District’s Dual Language program will be offered to incoming kindergarten students during the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.

“Our Dual Language program affirms our commitment to a culturally-responsive education that celebrates the diversity of all students, validating and affirming their home culture and language as tremendous assets,” said Malika Savoy-Brooks, Ed.D., Chief Academic Support Officer of the School District of Philadelphia. “These programs promote educational spaces that support students whose primary language is not English, while also providing our students who are native English speakers with the wonderful opportunity to access multi-language acquisition.”

Beginning the 2022-2023 School Year, Cramp’s youngest learners can enroll in the District’s Dual Language Program, a free academic program designed for high academic achievement while developing cross-cultural and cross-linguistic competence. The program will start in kindergarten and follow students by adding an additional grade each year in order to provide a continuum of high-quality dual language learning. Students enrolled in the program will continue the dual-language for a minimum of five years in order to receive the full benefits of being bilingual.

“We are so excited to add this Dual Language program to Cramp and immerse students in two languages starting at the Kindergarten level,” said Cramp Principal Deanda Logan. “Language immersion programs such as this can be very expensive, so we’re very pleased to offer it at no cost for our students and their families. I have two new grandchildren, and, when they are school-aged, I would love for them to be in a school that offers dual language from the very beginning so they learn a second language, as well as their native language, seamlessly. It’s really something that we are so honored and unbelievably happy to offer to our families.”

The new program will be the District’s seventh Dual Language program, joining Alexander K. McClure Elementary School, Hon. Luis Muñoz-Marín Elementary School, Bayard Taylor Elementary School, Lewis Elkin Elementary School, Southwark School and Cayuga Elementary School. All schools currently have open enrollment for their Kindergarten students.

Research shows that early exposure to multilingual programs positively impacts cognitive and social development. Dual Language classes are composed of a balanced number of students in each class who are native Spanish speakers and native English speakers. Instruction is held in both languages by one or two teachers, who deliver the literacy and grade-level academic content standards in all subject areas. Students will also participate in specials, which are only taught in English.

The District currently has more than 18,000 English Learners, a number that has consistently grown over the last five years. Spanish-speaking learners comprise more than 50 percent of that number. Programs like the District’s Dual Language Immersion offer our youngest learners the opportunity to maintain their native language, while also learning a new language.

The program is offered through the District’s Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs (OMCP), which oversees curriculum and programming for English Learners and bilingual schools and helps multilingual students and families navigate the enrollment process. This year, OMCP created a biliteracy curriculum as an additional tool to support teachers in the Dual Language program.

Families must apply for this program, which has limited space. In order to enroll a 2022-2023 kindergarten student in any of the Dual Language programs, or to get more information, please contact the participating school directly. To enroll at the William Cramp School (3449 N. Mascher Street), please call 215-400-3860.