Making Strides with Bilingual Education Round Lake High School Will Offer New Math Class to Those Learning English

Article excerpt

Byline: Jason J. King Daily Herald Staff Writer

Round Lake High School officials noticed a disheartening trend last year.

Students who performed well in the bilingual Algebra I class struggled in the two mainstream classes that follow - Algebra II and Business Math.

So math teacher Reinaldo Arboleda and bilingual coordinator Sandra Perez scratched out proposals for bilingual versions of both classes. Due to the district's tight budget, of the two, only bilingual Algebra II will be offered next year.

However, that addition is significant, guidance counselor Ardis Harnagel said, because for the first time, all of the core courses - those required for graduation - are offered in a bilingual setting at the school.

It allows students a chance to succeed in those classes, she said, while learning English.

"At this point, we pretty much cover all the required, or core courses," Harnagel said. "We're going to try to strengthen the program so these students are equipped to be as successful when they graduate as other students are."

According to federal law, schools must provide bilingual education classes if they have at least 20 students who speak the same, non-English language.

Meeting that requirement is difficult for many schools. Round Lake joins Mundelein High Schools in offering core courses and four levels of English as a Second Language courses, but few, if any electives. …