Chancellor Fariña Announces 33 New Pre-K Dual Language Programs From Harlem To Hollis

January 17, 2018

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the launch of 33 new pre-K Dual Language programs across the City this fall, more than doubling the number of existing programs from 30 to 63.

To date, Chancellor Fariña has overseen the opening of over 150 bilingual programs, and the expansion of pre-K Dual Language classes in every borough is part of the City’s effort to bring bilingual education to more students.

“Being able to speak and read in a different language, and understand a different culture, is a game-changer for our kids,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “That’s why we are more than doubling the number of New York City’s pre-K Dual Language programs – meeting the needs of our kids and families, and giving more of our children a critical early foundation in not just one language, but two.”

“We’re committed to offering our families a range of free, full-day, high-quality pre-K options, and this expansion of pre-K Dual Language programs is part of that vision,” said Josh Wallack, Deputy Chancellor for Early Childhood Education and Student Enrollment. “I look forward to getting the word out about these new programs to families as they apply for pre-K, and supporting these programs through their launch and development.”

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The new programs include five in the Bronx, nine in Brooklyn, 11 in Manhattan, six in Queens, and two on Staten Island. They include the City’s first-ever Bengali pre-K Dual Language program at the Ezra Jack Keats Pre-K Center in Queens and first-ever Russian pre-K Dual Language program at PS 145 in Manhattan. In addition to the new Bengali and Russian programs, the City will continue to offer pre-K Dual Language programs in Spanish, Mandarin and Italian. In the 2018-19 school year, the City will offer a total of 63 pre-K Dual Language programs across 59 pre-K programs; four programs offer Dual Language in more than one language.

Pre-K Dual Language programs will receive ongoing support, including on-site coaching in Dual Language instruction for early learners. Pre-K Dual Language teachers may also participate in an additional professional development course focused on Dual Language instruction in early childhood classrooms that the DOE has developed in collaboration with experts from New York University.

Dual Language classes are comprised of 50 percent children whose home language is not English and 50 percent English-proficient students. Instruction is held in both languages with the goal of teaching students to be bilingual and biliterate. Students in pre-K Dual Language classes will be able to continue on the Dual Language track in Kindergarten and beyond.

The Chancellor made the announcement at PS 20 on the Lower East Side. Currently, the school offers Dual Language Mandarin from pre-K through 5th grade, and Dual Language Spanish from Kindergarten through 2nd grade. Beginning next year, PS 20 will also offer Dual Language Spanish to pre-K students.

“Dual Language classes have been a tremendous asset to our school community, and we’re thrilled to be expanding our program to include pre-K Dual Language in Spanish,” said PS 20 Principal Sarah Pinto. “Through our Dual Language classes, students learn to embrace a new language and a new culture, setting them up for success in the diverse, multicultural world in which we live.”

“As the City expands its early childhood education programs, it is critical to consider the needs of the significant population of Dual Language Learners,” said Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York. “Research shows that participating in high-quality pre-K programs is particularly beneficial for Dual Language Learners and that Dual Language Learners benefit from these programs most when they receive instruction in both their first language and English. Doubling the number of pre-K Dual Language programs will allow more children to participate in programs that build on their strengths and prepare them for school success.”

“Bilingual pre-K expansion is a welcome victory for all of New York’s families,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “More languages offered and more bilingual pre-K seats overall mean that more families will be able to access the full benefits of pre-K.”

“The expansion of Dual-Language programs across the City is a great accomplishment. I work closely with outstanding partner organizations that broaden cultural experiences for students across my district– I am thrilled these students will have more experiences that can lead to a brighter future and career path,” said State Senator Diane Savino

“Speaking a second language is a priceless skill that is becoming more and more in demand in today’s society, which is why I applaud DOE’s efforts to expand dual language programs across New York City,” said Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. “I look forward to working with the City to ensure that our families in lower Manhattan have access to these language programs.”

“By more than doubling dual language programs for pre-K students, our City is taking an important step in the efforts to build an inclusive education system that reflects the diversity of our City and supports immigrant families,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “For many families, having access to a total of 63 pre-K dual language programs in Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, Bengali and Russian will be a game-changer. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña for delivering on your commitment to language access in schools throughout the City, including P.S. 20 Anna Silver and P.S. 1 Alfred E. Smith, where more young learners in Lower Manhattan will be able to develop their English skills while preserving their native languages of Chinese and Spanish.”

“We applaud Chancellor Fariña and the Department of Education for adding these new bilingual Pre-K programs, which create vital opportunities for young children learning both their home language and English,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “In these difficult times for immigrant families, bilingual programs send a powerful message that families’ home language is a valuable asset. These new programs are an important step in ensuring success for our emergent multilingual learners, and we look forward to continuing to work with the DOE to further map bilingual programs to needs across New York’s diverse immigrant communities.”

Exposure to another language and culture through bilingual education prepares students for success in college and careers in a global economy, and this administration has made significant investments in bilingual education, opening over 150 new programs across all five boroughs. The more than 500 bilingual programs across the City serve both English Language Learners and English-proficient students with the goal of educating students to be bilingual, biliterate and bicultural. The City’s Dual Language and Transitional Bilingual Education programs currently serve over 20,000 students.

Pre-K for All provides a free, full-day, high-quality pre-K seat for every four-year-old in New York City, and is a critical part of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. The 2018 NYC Pre-K Directory is now available online and in print, and New York City families with children born in 2014 will be able to apply for free, full-day, high-quality pre-K starting on February 5. For more information on the Pre-K Directory and application process, families can also visit:

  • Our Pre-K Finder, which has the most up-to-date program information,
  • Our Pre-K Events page for information about program visits and Open Houses, or
  • Call 718-935-2009.

Pre-K for All is part of the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.

Click here to see complete list of pre-K Dual Language sites available in September 2018.

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