By: Alexa Williams
ANDREWS: Andrews ISD is one of the only places in West Texas with a special bilingual program for their elementary school kids. In fact, by the time their students are in fifth grade they're mostly bilingual in English and Spanish.
The district uses what's called a 50/50 model.
"We have some English speakers learning to speak Spanish and some Spanish speakers learning to speak English,"
Christy Cabrera, a 3rd grade bilingual teacher at Andrews ISD, said.
The students who are in the program start in Pre-K. Half of their classes will only be taught in Spanish and the other half will only be taught in English.
"We try to have our classrooms have 50 percent native English speakers and 50 percent native Spanish speakers," Lizett Monteya, a 3rd grade bilingual teacher at Andrews ISD, said.
In the program the students are paired up with someone who speaks the opposite language than they do.
"When they are in their English reading it's only taught in English but their bilingual pair can assist them with any translations necessary," Monteya said.
The 50/50 program is only in their elementary schools right now. The district said the students are usually bilingual by the time they leave fifth grade. And they've even seen higher test scores from students who are in the program.
"There's quite a bit of difference with our scores with our bilingual kids,"
Andrews ISD said they're just preparing their kids for the future, and they plan on keeping the program around.
"I think it's easier for them to find a job if they have that second language. Around this area especially having that Spanish second language,"