Palo Alto’s first-ever Spanish-language kindergarten class will open next fall at Fairmeadow School, where students in the class will be taught by a bilingual teacher, almost exclusively in Spanish.

By the third grade, English and Spanish will be used equally in the classroom instruction, school officials said, with students completely bilingual by the fifth grade.

Of the 28 students already enrolled in the kindergarten class, only four are Spanish-speakers.

The district decided to try the Spanish immersion program after a school district committee, as well as many parents, requested foreign language classes in the elementary schools.

Since only one of the south Palo Alto school’s four kindergarten classes will be conducted in Spanish, parents have a choice as to where to place their children. The class will include children from throughout the district.

The district’s only additional cost for the class will be the Spanish-language materials used, school officials said.



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