Forums set on idea to expand bilingual campus

Second grader Giuliana Carrillo works on a project during class in May 2012 at the Dual Language Academy.

Hollister School District trustees are holding upcoming forums to get input on possible expansion of the dual language academy.
Hollister School District trustees are considering whether to expand the dual language academy to include seventh and eighth graders and have it replace Gabilan Hills—the English speaking elementary at the same site—as the neighborhood school.
The schools, part of the same district, share a campus on Santa Ana Road. Enrollment at the Hollister Dual Language Academy has been growing more quickly. To handle the demand, trustees are considering whether to replace Gabilan classrooms with bilingual ones until the site has a full K-8 bilingual program at one campus.
This school year marks the first one that the district has had a full K-8 bilingual program. Marguerite Maze Middle School began offering an extension of the K-6 dual language program to seventh graders last school year and added a class for eighth graders this year. The academy also doubled its number of kindergarten classes, meaning more students will require classrooms in the years to come.
Trustees are holding two forums where they will listen to public comment before making a decision on the fate of the schools at a regularly scheduled board meeting.
During the most recent regularly scheduled board meeting, Superintendent Gary McIntire suggested staff officials could present plans for the site to the board based on input from community members at the next regularly scheduled board meeting Jan. 27.
The Gabilan Hills community is encouraged to share their comments at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at the school’s Gecko Hall on Santa Ana Road.
Trustees will hold a second special discussion meeting focusing on the Hollister Dual Language Academy community’s thoughts on expanding at 6 p.m. Thursday Jan. 15 at Gabilan Hills’ Gecko Hall on Santa Ana Road.

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