Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 2, 2014 at 6:08 AM

Beacon Hill International School: Immersion program made difference

I am a parent of a child who just finished his fifth grade year at the Beacon Hill International School. After reading The Times’ article, “Seattle school under review for big jump in state test results” [Local News, Aug. 27], I wanted to express concerns over what I feel were gaps in the story.

In 2009, Beacon Hill International School became the second language immersion program at a public elementary school in Seattle. As a parent, I’ve seen this program have a direct and very positive effect on my child’s learning experience.

I expect the school’s commitment to help students develop fluency in a second language may have had a significant and positive impact on their test scores. (Certainly, their immersion experience has impacted students’ academic performance and growth in many other areas.)
The 2014 fifth grade class at the school is the first class to complete the school’s immersion program. It would make sense, then, that if the program was successful students’ test scores would be higher than the scores of the previous year’s class.

Southeast Seattle, and Beacon Hill in particular, is a community of mixed incomes and incredible ethnic diversity and this makes for an amazing cultural landscape. It also creates a unique set of challenges for educators who need to work across languages and cultures, and accommodate families with a range of resources.

From my perspective the school has found a pathway to success through a well-taught immersion experience, and I’m not at all surprised to see the success of such a program reflected in test scores.

I would encourage The Times to dig deeper into the benefits immersion programs can create, and to take a closer look at the incredible work of the educators involved with making the school a success, especially as the district considers adding more immersion programs throughout the city.

Josh Chaitin, Seattle

Comments | Topics: beacon hill, education, student testing

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►