Dayton Public School considers proposal to reopen closed school to help kids learn English

DAYTON — Dayton Public School members are meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss a proposal to reopen a school that was closed in 2019.

The district may reopen the doors of the World of Wonder Pre K-8 school on Oakridge Drive for kids whose first language is not English.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, over the past decade, Ohio’s percentage of English learning students has jumped to approximately 60,000 students.

A study done by the New American Economy, found in Montgomery County between 2014 and 2019 the immigrant population grew by more than 20 percent.

In a board meeting last week, DPS Academic Coordinator Rachel Underwood spoke about the school’s reopening.

She said there are almost 1,800 students who are learning English in the school systems right now that would greatly benefit from the new school.

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Underwood also said that 93 percent of students screened through DPS’ school system quality for English learning services.

She outlines a three-year plan for students begging with staffing a newcomer site program that would consist of teachers that specialize in Spanish and outreach specialists.

The second year is when students will be assessed based on the previous year to see where they are at and areas they may need extra work in.

Year three would take data from the previous years to continue to track students’ progress.

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The feedback at the end of the board meeting was positive but one board member said this program had the potential to go even deeper.

“I would love to see this school but I also would love to see us simultaneously dealing with a culturally responsive instructural model that addresses the needs of all students,” said DPS Board Member Dion Sampson.

The meeting to discuss the proposal will take place today at 10 a.m virtually and at 6 p.m. at the former World of Wonder building.