What is TWI?
TWI stands for Two-Way Immersion. Two-Way Immersion (TWI) is a form of dual language education in which approximately half of the students in each classroom come from homes where Spanish is spoken and approximately half of the students come from homes where English or another language is spoken.
In a TWI program, all students learn Spanish and English in addition to academic content. The goals of a TWI program are for students to achieve high levels of bilingualism and academic achievement and to view and embrace multiculturalism as an asset in their personal lives and in our global society.
What does the MCPASD TWI program look like?
The MCPASD TWI program utilizes a 50-50, two-teacher model. Students receive 50% of their academic instruction in Spanish and 50% of their academic instruction in English.
At each grade level, one teacher teaches in Spanish and the other teacher teaches in English. Students switch teachers partway through the day.
Curriculum is based on the same standards as the regular MCPASD curriculum, but is designed to meet the linguistic needs of bilingual learners. Teachers use biliteracy strategies to ensure students learn academic language in both languages in all content areas.
The program began with incoming Sauk Trail kindergarten students in 2017-18. One grade level is added each subsequent year.
Will my child’s progress look the same in TWI as in monolingual environments?
In short, no. It is important for educators and parents/guardians to know that biliteracy development is different from monolingual literacy development; therefore TWI students’ standardized test scores may not mirror those of their monolingual peers as they progress through the TWI program. However, as time goes on and bilingual students develop in both languages, they typically outscore their monolingual peers on standardized assessments.
Is the TWI program appropriate for students with special needs (including speech/language), and students who speak languages other than English or Spanish?
Yes. The TWI program is inclusive of all students. We encourage applications from all families in the Sauk Trail attendance area.
Because it is assumed that all students in the TWI program are language learners, curriculum and instructional practices are intentionally designed to be comprehensible to all students. This kind of instruction can be beneficial for students who already speak a language other than English or Spanish, as well as students who have special needs.
What is the commitment required of families and students in the TWI program?
Due to the time it takes to become bilingual and biliterate, we ask all families that apply to commit to the 50-50, two-teacher model in grades K-5. We also highly encourage TWI students to continue advancing in their biliteracy development by selecting bilingual courses offered to them in grades 6-12.
May families that live in another MCPASD elementary attendance area apply for the TWI program?
Yes. Families living in another MCPASD elementary attendance area may apply for the TWI program if they submit an Alternate School Assignment (ASA) request and the ASA is accepted. If the ASA is accepted, the TWI application will be considered. The ASA and TWI applications should be submitted at the same time.
Families with children attending the TWI program under an ASA may choose to take advantage of MCPASD-provided transportation.
How does the district make decisions about who is accepted into the TWI program?
Research demonstrates that high-quality two-way immersion programs yield the best educational outcomes for English learners. In order to better meet the needs of our Spanish-speaking English learner population, the MCPASD launched its TWI program in the 2017-18 school year. As a result, Spanish-speaking English learners are prioritized for admittance into the program.
Because linguistic balance is a necessary component of TWI program design, the ideal student makeup is as close to 50% Spanish speakers and 50% speakers of English (and other languages) as possible.
We also make our best effort to ensure the makeup of the non-Spanish speaking student population is reflective of Sauk Trail's overall demographics.
Additionally, families residing in the Sauk Trail attendance area and families that already have an older child in the program have priority.
It is important to note that submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance into the TWI program.
Where can I find information about how to apply, including the informational meetings?
Please follow this link.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
MCPASD Bilingual Services
Amanda Keenan, Bilingual Services Assistant
03/13/20: Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 (otherwise known as the coronavirus), the MCPASD has suspended all parent and family meetings or events through April 12. Therefore, the meetings listed below have been canceled. We are currently revising our plan to ensure interested families have the information they need about the TWI program and receive applications. Please check this website for further updates.
Interested families must attend one informational meeting in order to receive an application. All meetings will be hosted at Sauk Trail Elementary School, 2205 Branch Street, Middleton. Child care will be provided.
Saturday, March 14, 10:00-11:00 am - CANCELED
Wednesday, April 8, 6:00-7:00 pm - CANCELED
Monday, April 13, 6:00-7:00 pm - TENTATIVE