By Perry Stein, The Washington Post on April 17, 2018

Read more here.

“Elsie Whitlow Stokes school, a Northeast Washington preschool and elementary charter that teaches classes in two languages, has the longest waiting list of any D.C. charter school, with 1,827 students still hoping to land a slot.

The D.C. Public Charter School Board released waitlist data Tuesday for the 2018-2019 academic year. The data shows that dual language and Montessori-style schools are in high demand. Six of the 10 schools with the longest waiting lists, including Mundo Verde Bilingual and DC Bilingual, are known as dual language schools.

[…]

The greatest demand continues to be for slots in the lower grades. Latin American Montessori Bilingual had the longest charter waiting list for pre-K3, with 679 3-year-olds waiting to secure a seat.

D.C. International School, a dual language school, had the longest waiting list in the upper grades, with 477 students on the waitlist for sixth grade and 239 in ninth grade. Capital City Public Charter School, KIPP DC and Friendship Public Charter School had waiting lists in high school.

Vanessa Bertelli, executive director of the D.C. Language Immersion Project, an advocacy group pushing to expand the city’s language programs, said the 2018 data shows the significant need for the city to expand dual language offerings.

“It’s particularly frustrating because this has been a trend for the last four years at least,” Bertelli said. “The District is depriving parents and students of what they obviously want.”

Dear Families, educators, and partners,

In 2020 we announced that the DC Language Immersion Project would close its doors due to lack of resources. However, before completely dissolving the organization, we recently asked a group of local and national educators if they - individually or collectively - would be interested in continuing the work of advocating for multilingual education in the District of Columbia. We are pleased to announce that a few individuals responded yes and volunteered to forge a plan to continue this vital work.

So, we are not closing our doors but we are entering a six-to-twelve-month period of dormancy as we determine the best path forward for the DC Immersion Project.  Thank you for your continued support and please stay tuned for updates.

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