Roosevelt Islander Online: Roosevelt Island And Upper East Side NYC District 2 School Parents Urge DOE To Expand French/English Dual Language Pre K Program To K-5 Grades, Sign Up For Information Session

Nadia Levy and Stéphane Lautner are parents and organizers of an initiative to
bring free dual language French-English classes for children in
NYC District 2 Community Schools
which include
PS/IS 217 on Roosevelt Island

According to Ms Levy and Mr Lautner:

The Upper East Side Francophone Dual Language Initiative is an organization
that successfully created two Pre-K classes on the Upper East Side, and is
currently working hard for the implementation of a Francophone dual language
program in School District 2 public schools serving the Upper East Side and
Roosevelt Island. 

The organization is planning a discussion session on Roosevelt Island for
parents who may be interested in more information in the program. Space may
be limited;
so please RSVP at this link. Further information — including the date, time and location of the
meeting — will be forwarded after registration.

Roosevelt Island resident Bafode Drame adds:

The Dual Language, French-English Initiative that created a free Pre-K public
school program in District 2, is trying to extend the program to grades K-5,
and also reaching out to the RI community to raise awareness for the free
public school program in District 2 that includes Roosevelt Island.

Tap Into Sutton Place/Lenox Hill
reported in October 2020:

Council Member Ben Kallos led a ribbon cutting to announce the availability
of 40 Pre-K Seats for a French dual language program that will serve members
of the Francophone community on the East Side.

According to Council Member Kallos, the New York City Department of
Education will operate the classes using a side-by-side instructional model
where it will have one Early Childhood-certified teacher who is fluent in
French and who has or will work towards a bilingual extension, alongside a
second Early Childhood-certified teacher.

Classes started at the Pre-K Center at 355 East 76th Street on
September 21….

But in
January 2021 Tap Into Sutton Place/Lenox Hill

Parents on the Upper East Side were thrilled when, after their hard work and
support from elected officials, the Department of Education opened a pre-K
French dual language program last October. The parents, however, had also
worked with the DOE to identify a public school on the Upper East Side that
would host a K-5 French dual language program so that the pre-K students could
continue their second language studies. But on Monday afternoon, the DOE
informed the parents that it would not be opening a K-5 program for the new
school year in September….

Ms Levy reported last week:

The DOE had promised to help that happen, but did not keep their word last
year.  We are trying to change that this year. We are hopeful with the
new mayor, things may change. 

Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side
NYC Council Member Ben Kallos supports expansion of the dual French/English language program to K-5 grades
in District 2. According to Mr Kallos:

Roosevelt Island is an incredibly diverse community, including families from
Francophone countries all over the world. The Upper East Side’s French Dual
Language program has been a success, with some Roosevelt Islanders already


Expanding this program would open more seats to interested families,
and would be a great opportunity for the Island’s international community.
Thank you to the parents who have tirelessly advocated for these programs,
not only for their own children, but for the community as a whole.

Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side NYC Council Member-elect
Julie Menin


The Department of Education must expand the French dual language program
within Community School District 2, which enables students to write, read and
speak in both English and their home language. Assisting our bilingual
families supports the multiculturalism that is a central component of New York
City’s identity. It is essential that the Department of Education reconsider
this decision.

I asked the
NYC Department of Education
for comment earlier today and will update with any response. 

Register here to attend an Information Session
on the Dual French/English Dual Language Initiative for District 2.


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