JACKSON HEIGHTS — A dual-language program will be brought to a local middle school after parents pushed for the change, according to a co-president of the educational council.
Parents at the newly expanded I.S. 230 at 73-10 34th Ave. had been pushing for the Spanish-English classes, especially after gaining several students in a rezoning process from the neighboring I.S. 145, which has a English/Spanish program. The school serves almost 1,000 students in grades 6 - 8, according to the website InsideSchools.com.
Isaac Carmignani, co-president of Community District Education Council 30, said the program is expected to start in 2015.
"A lot of the things are getting worked out on the local level, with the superintendent working with the principal," he said.
A spokesman for the Department of Education said the agency is "aware of the interest to open a Spanish dual language program at I.S. 230 and will be supporting the school community with the planning process."
Parents from I.S. 145 who found that they had been rezoned into I.S. 230 starting in the fall of 2014 demanded at a meeting last month that their new school create a dual-language program.
I.S. 230 plans to accommodate the incoming students by building a new annex on their property, officials said.
I.S. 145's dual-language program currently offers instruction in both English and Spanish on alternating days to help keep students fluent. That program is expected to continue in the fall, parents said.
"The more I learn about dual-language programs, the more I love them," Carmignani said.
"It's such a diverse community and for these lids to be able to, some in their native tongue, get a real education — a full-fledged teacher speaking it in their tongue — it's going to equip them for adulthood and work in a big way," he said.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the dual language program would start in September 2014. It will start in September 2015.