Porterville Unified School District (PUSD) announced Thursday that West Putnam Elementary will join Santa Fe Elementary as the District’s second Dual Immersion Elementary school. West Putnam will continue to offer a traditional Kindergarten through Sixth-Grade English program, but beginning in the 2019-2020 school year will offer a Spanish Dual Immersion option to Kindergarten students. Each year, an additional grade will be added until the site becomes a fully-integrated dual language school in 2025-2026.
The West Putnam Dual Immersion program will utilize the same model as Santa Fe Elementary School, where students spend 50% of their time receiving instruction in English and 50% being taught in Spanish. To coordinate the program, newly-appointed Principal, Andrew Lopez, will be joined by Olga Ortiz as Program Manager, beginning July 1. Mr. Lopez brings several years of administrative experience in PUSD at Vandalia Elementary to his new position and before that was an Elementary and Reading teacher for over ten years at John J. Doyle Elementary. Prior to her current administrative position at Westfield Elementary, Mrs. Ortiz served as an Instructional Coach, Reading Teacher, and Kindergarten teacher for nine years in the Dual Immersion program at Santa Fe and five years at Olive Street Elementary.
“We are excited about the opportunity to bring our successful Dual Immersion Program to the west side of our district,” PUSD Governing Board President Lillian Durbin said. “With the overwhelming popularity of our program at Santa Fe Elementary, this will increase the educational options available to our students and help them to succeed in an increasingly diverse and connected global economy.”