The Mineola School District has been selected as the recipient of a $250,000 grant from the State Education Department’s Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages. Dr. Nicole Moriarty, director of English as a new language, and Patricia Burns, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, applied for the grant, which will further support teachers and students in their quest for biliteracy.

In order to qualify, Mineola had to explain the mission and philosophy of the district and program, prove an existing bilingual program was in place and explain the plans to integrate it into a new school building within the district. The 2016-17 school year marked the first time that the dual-language program was brought to the middle school level.

For the district, this means added support for its now K-5 dual-language program. Currently in its fourth year, 322 students are enrolled in the program and approximately 80 more are expected to opt-in as kindergartners in September 2017. The program runs side-by-side, meaning students learn English for one week and then Spanish for one week, alternating for the year, and with a slight modification at the middle school level.