Paxson elementary school is expanding their dual language program this fall. Superintendent Mark Thane says students will not longer have to enter in a lottery in order to enroll in the program.

“We’ve had overwhelming demand to the point where we have not been able to accommodate all of the requests,” Thane said. “So the recommendation is being made that we have all in coming kindergartners begin in a dual language immersion program that we then annually transition the school to become a full immersion school .”

The planning for school wide spanish immersion appears to date back many years. According to Thane, spanish speaking teachers have been a hiring focus.

“What we would have is half of the teachers demonstrate a proficiency in Spanish so that they could teach in the target language,” Thane said. “Over the course of the past three or four years a Spanish speaking preference has been identified for those teachers that have been hired at Paxson. We would need approximately half of the staff Spanish fluent.”

Paxson will be the first elementary school in the state with a full immersion program.