Bilingual, Cross-Cultural Education At Metro Public School First Of Its Kind


Tuesday, May 4th 2021, 7:28 am
By: Jordan Dafnis


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Western Gateway Elementary School is going to be the first public school offering bilingual and cross-cultural education.

Enrollment for the brand-new school is now open and school leaders are encouraging parents who are interested to act now.

As of right Tuesday, there are 140 spots available.

The school operates a little differently than traditional school. All the teachers will provide both English and Spanish instruction. The day will be divided in half. Half of the day students will learn in English and half of the day students will learn in Spanish.

Heather Zacarias, superintendent of Western Gateway Elementary School, thinks students who can speak both Spanish and English will have a leg up in the future.

“Doors open up for students who are bilingual, and so we want to emphasize the importance not only speaking in another language but reading and writing in another language as well. So that when these students are ready to go out into the workforce, they have more opportunity,” she said.

The school is now enrolling student's pre-K through 1st grade. The school will add a grade level each year of operation until the 4th grade.

Students who live within the attendance boundaries will be eligible for enrollment first. Neighborhoods within the boundary include Jones Grove, Will Rogers Courts, Higgins Heights, Wheeler District and College Hill. The boundary streets are SW 23 up to the Oklahoma River and from Westwood to Walker.

Next up, students who live outside of the neighborhood boundary of Western Gateway Elementary School will be eligible to apply through the lottery.

Finally, seats may be offered if the school has not reached capacity.  

Even while learning two languages, staff said general core studies will also have priority.

"We will still focus on the four content areas of social studies, science, math and language arts. It's just that our students will have the opportunity to learn those content areas in two languages, both English and Spanish," Zacarias said.

If you are interested in enrolling your child but need support you can call 405-868-5801.

For more information about the school and opportunities to enroll, click here.