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New WL school, Spanish immersion on tap for Monday's school board meeting

Trillium Creek Primary School neighborhood boundaries and the potential for a Spanish immersion program at the new school are on the agenda for Monday night's West Linn-Wilsonville School Board meeting. Two committees will give updated reports as part of the process of opening the school by next fall.

The World Language Task Force, which met on Dec. 7, is recommending starting a kindergarten Spanish immersion program at both of the district's new schools. Trillium Creek would have a one-way immersion program for English speakers learning Spanish, while Lowrie Primary School in Wilsonville would have a two-way immersion for native Spanish and English speakers to learn the other language.

The recommendation includes the possibility of a supplementary program for all primary students, as well.

The school board has yet to approve the recommendation.

The task force agreed that by timing the program to start next fall the district is taking advantage of a window of opportunity created by the 2008 voter-approved bond resources available with the construction of the new schools. The district can use bond funding for materials and a staffing plan - expenses that would normally come from the general fund.

Despite that, Superintendent Bill Rhodes noted that the district has limited resources and may need to reduce expenditures while it simultaneously develops the program.

Rhoades spoke about the interconnectedness of the world language program, boundary adjustments, and an open enrollment policy that would allow nonresidents to enroll in WL-WV schools.

The district held two community meetings in December - one in West Linn and one in Wilsonville - to get neighborhood feedback on the boundary adjustment process, as well as to provide answers to any questions.

Currently, the district plans to adjust only primary school boundaries, while keeping the boundaries for Athey Creek and Rosemont Ridge middle schools.

Students interested in attending Trillium Creek that live outside of the neighborhood are allowed to transfer into the school under the district's current in-district transfer policy, which allows students to attend the school of their choice as long as there is space. Additionally, transfer students must find their own transportation.

If desired, this year's fourth grade students, who would end up attending Trillium Creek next year as fifth graders, will be allowed to stay at their current primary school for their last year.

However, the district will not provide transportation for these students.

The district will also offer full-day kindergarten at Trillium Creek on a tuition basis, as it does at all schools. For now, however, families with kindergarteners are being asked to register their children at their current neighborhood school.

No new teaching positions are available with the opening of the new schools. Instead, the district plans to shift staff from its current primary schools.

The Boundary Task Force is expected to bring a recommendation to the school board in February, with the hope of a final decision in March.

Additional community meetings will also be held in February.

The district is continuing to collect input through an online survey. To contribute, go to: the school district's home page www.wlwv.k12.or.us .



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