Developmental Bilingual Education (DBE) is a program designed to maintain the primary, or home, language of English Learners while learning English. Starting in Kindergarten and continuing to 5th grade, the program aims for biliteracy in all subject areas. 50% of classroom instruction is in Spanish and 50% is in English. Each day, both languages are spoken. While designed for English Learners, English Only students are welcome to sign up and will be enrolled pending space availability.
Program Size and Enrollment Process
The size of the program depends on parent interest and the availability of appropriate instructional staff. Each year, parents of incoming students and students not enrolled in the program are encouraged to sign-up if they would like more information about Development Bilingual Education. All interested families are invited to a meeting to discuss the design and expectations of the program, and to review enrollment paperwork. All Enrollment Forms will be considered, and the District will make every effort to honor parent requests. If a request cannot be granted, the District will inform parents of why. Each year, returning families are asked to sign a Re-Enrollment Form so that appropriate staffing plans and material purchases can be made.
Staffing and Program Resources
All teachers in the Developmental Bilingual Education (DBE) program are required to have an appropriate teaching credential and an additional authorization to instruct in Spanish. For each DBE classroom, instructional materials are provided in both English and Spanish, in all subject areas. Additionally, the District’s Local Control Accountability Plan provides supplemental materials and supplies so that equity of both languages can be maintained in all DBE classrooms. DBE teachers also meet monthly to collaborate.
District Commitment and Program History
The Winters Joint Unified School District believes in the value of speaking multiple languages. In the Spring of 2013, the Board of Trustees voted to implement Developmental Bilingual Education (DBE). In the Fall of 2013, the District’s DBE program began with classes in Kindergarten - 3rd grade and then expanded each year until the current K - 5 configuration. The Board of Trustees and District Leadership have maintained their commitment to the program and its future success. In addition to the DBE program at Winters Elementary School, the District has adopted Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) at Winters Middle and Winters High School, in addition to Spanish electives.