The new policy of enrollment to dual-language programs is in part to overhaul past abuses of DLPs using federal funds for English Language Learners (ELLs) without truly having 50% ELLs in their programs. The revised enrollment procedures is to ensure that families with ELLs will be served in the creation of these new DLPs. While it is true that the DLP will open with just one class this fall with approximately 12-13 seats for native-speaking ELL students, the school is interested in integrating more Japanese cultural studies to the wider school community. PS 147 is seeking to build partnerships with organizations such as Japan Society to build a cultural awareness in the entire school community. Japanese families who are interested in becoming a part of a school that embraces their culture should apply to PS 147 and indicate their interest in the DLP. We have contacted the Office of ELLs and the Enrollment Office that currently, there is no place to indicate DLP interest on Kindergarten Connect for PS 147. We are working to rectify this. In any case, families that are interested in the Japanese DLP should list PS 147 as one of their choices for Kindergarten Connect. The choice for one’s child’s education is an incredibly personal one. Families need to evaluate and balance what it is that they think will be best for their own child in terms of the quality of education, school community, and location/convenience. We encourage families to rank their schools in order of preference.
When offer letters go out in April, families that have been offered seats at the school will be interviewed by an on-site ELL teacher to see whether their children are truly ELLs. Whether families get into PS 147’s Japanese DLP or not, we believe that each family will do whatever it takes to make sure that their children grow up learning and valuing their heritage language and culture. PS 147 is extremely excited to be the first school to offer such a place in a public school setting for the children of NYC, Japanese and non-Japanese.