HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill to give school districts more flexibility in how they teach students trying to learn English.
The Language Opportunity for Our Kids bill, also called the “LOOK” bill, will ensure English learner programs are well-staffed and evaluated regularly.
Holyoke Public Schools have several different programs for students who have English as their second language.
The Metcalf Elementary School offers a dual language program to students from kindergarten through third grade. Students spend half the day in classes taught in English and the other half in Spanish.
The Holyoke Public School district is the only one in western Massachusetts that offers dual language programs.
“It really promotes the ability to learn a second language,” Anna Lugo explained. “And creates an impetus to create those opportunities as a school district.”
Lugo told 22News that they also offer dual language programs at the E. N. White Elementary School and a “transitional” program at Holyoke High School for students new to the country.
Lugo said 25 percent of Holyoke Public School students speak English as a second language.