Language Immersion Programs in OUSD

Parent Q&A

  • Spanish language Assessment for OUSD

    (2 replies)

    We are hoping our child will be in kindergarten at one of OUSD's Spanish immersion schools in the fall. Has anyone gone through the Spanish language assessment for Melrose and Manzanita Seed? Our kid is fluent in both languages. They say it won't affect placement but that doesn't seem right as there would be two pools of students and one might have better odds? I'm very confused about whether it makes sense to have him evaluated or if it wouldn't matter or would hurt or improve his odds? Anyone know more about how this works or been through it?

    It is also my understanding that a child's chances of getting into Melrose and Manzanita SEED are higher if they are found to be "Spanish proficient".  I think what you're being told is that not testing does not exclude your child from potentially getting in but they're not telling you (or not telling you clearly) that the chances may be different.  I have not honestly seen the numbers to back up my understanding, and I guess OUSD doesn't really know either until everyone puts in their lottery requests and completes assessments.

    About the assessment... I don't know how your son will react, but my son refused to talk in Spanish or English the first time we tried an assessment.  We didn't make a big deal of it, but we tried again a couple weeks later (at our nhood school that he was familiar with, and we framed the assessment as going to playtime at the school) and he did great.  

    Suerte

    *********

    From Lubia Sanchez (OUSD's Multilingual Pathways Coordinator, also in charge of the assessments):

    *the sign-up link for assessments is still valid

    Thank you for your interest in Dual Language at Melrose Leadership Academy, Greenleaf and Manzanita SEED.   Appointments for Spanish Assessment are now available.   
     
    This optional assessment does not determine program entry, but instead designates whether your child will be placed in the “Spanish proficient” or “not Spanish proficient” placement pools. From there, regular lottery rules will be applied.  
     
    There are 2 components to the Spanish Language assessment:  0ne-on-one interview to assess Speaking and a computer-based Listening Comprehension portion.  Combined, the assessments will take approximately 35 minutes to complete.        
     
    Since this optional assessment does not impact your child’s opportunity to join the Dual Language community, we urge you to evaluate the degree to which your child has had a consistent Spanish -speaking environment and whether the assessment experience will pose undue stress on your child. For many very young children, this testing process will be completely new and may be emotionally challenging for students who are not Spanish proficient at this time.     
     
    To move forward with Spanish assessment, please click here to sign up.   

    This is only the second year that Spanish language assessments are being conducted, and I don't have first-hand experience with the process. They were instituted to remedy the problem of having predominantly English-speaking children because the dual-immersion schools are intended to have 50% native Spanish-speaking children. Because they are fewer applications from Spanish-speaking families, it is an advantage to apply as a Spanish speaker.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Sept 2013

Re: Spanish Immersion In Berkeley and Oakland

You didn't say whether you were looking for preschool for right now, or looking ahead toward kindergarten. For preschool, I'd recommend any of the several Kidsland home-based daycare/preschools (mostly located in S. Berkeley, but also w/locations in San Leandro).

If you are looking ahead toward kindergarten plus, Oakland Unified School District offers dual-immersion Spanish/English in several of its public schools, including Melrose Leadership Academy, Manzanita Seed, Community United, Global Family School, and Esperanza Elementary. I chose Esperanza for my son this year, and have been impressed thus far w/the level of caring & commitment amongst the teachers, admin, and after school staff. All of the Spanish language arts teachers are native speakers. There are some of the usual public school issues (class sizes larger than ideal in some grades, for instance), but for an Oakland public school, I'd say they make a dedicated contribution to the community. Parent who switched from private to public