Oakland opens Spanish dual-immersion school despite having too many schools

Even though Oakland Unified School District acknowledges it has too many schools, the district opened a new campus on Monday, hoping to keep to keep families from fleeing the city or attending private schools, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Oakland School of Language, or Oakland SOL, will be the district’s first dual-immersion middle school when it opens its doors to nearly 75 sixth-grade students Monday, offering academic subjects in Spanish and English. The school will phase in seventh and eighth grades over the next two years.

At Oakland School of Language, daily Spanish and weekly art classes will be taught only in Spanish. The other academic subjects, including history, English, science and math, will incorporate Spanish into the English instruction.
While many dual-immersion schools require students in upper grades to have second-language skills, Oakland School of Language welcomes Spanish-language newcomers.

Officials acknowledged to the Chronicle that the district has about twice as many as schools compared to districts with similar enrollment. Running so many schools has contributed to the district’s fiscal crisis, with administrators warning earlier this year of a $30 million budget shortfall.