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English Learners Show Highest Success Rates at Dual Language Immersion Elementary School

Empower student receiving one-on-one instruction

More English does not mean better English. We are proud that our school’s results can also highlight the success that most dual language programs demonstrate for students.”
— Demi Brown
SAN DIEGO , CA, USA, April 17, 2018 / -- A new report released by the California Department of Education showed the highest success rates for English Learner reclassification are a result of a Spanish two-way dual language immersion school. Empower Charter School, located in Linda Vista, reclassified 14.7% of its English Learners to English-Proficient this school year. This was the highest percent of reclassification across all district and charter elementary schools in the San Diego Unified School District, based on the report.

Of the 14.7% students that were reclassified, the school was able to reclassify one-third of its second-graders this year, which was also the highest rate out of all San Diego district and charter schools.

While it often takes between five and seven years to become language proficient, the Department of Education report suggests that English learners enrolled in Empower Charter School were able to do so in just three years. Empower Charter School’s English learner students also significantly outperformed the district and state in English Language Arts on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).

“More English does not mean better English,” Demi Brown, the school’s founder and Executive Director said. “Research shows that high-quality, two-way dual language immersion programs are the most effective at closing achievement gaps within all student subgroups. We are proud that our school’s results can also highlight the success that most dual language programs demonstrate for students.”

The Spanish Immersion program at Empower Charter School follows an 80/20 model, meaning that Kindergarten and first grade students start with learning Spanish 80% of the school day, and each year they progress to having 10% more English until they reach grades 4-6, when the Spanish and English are equally balanced at 50% each.
The school recently announced it is taking its language program a step further to add a third language, Mandarin, to provide students with the opportunity to become trilingual. This is the first public school program of its kind within the city of San Diego.

Empower Charter is a free public school, and spaces are still available in Grades TK-6 for the 2018-19 school year. Interested parents can visit and click on the Enroll tab.

Demi Brown
Empower Charter School
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