District to Launch Haitian Creole Language Program

District Set to Launch First-Ever Haitian Creole Dual Language Program in August 2021
Posted on 06/08/2021
Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, Rolling Green Elementary School will offer a dual language Haitian Creole program for incoming kindergarten students. The program will be the first of its kind in the School District of Palm Beach County, and the only two-way dual language immersion Haitian Creole program in the state of Florida.

“We are always working to find how we can provide programs that meet the needs of our students,” said Francisco Oaxaca, the Director of the Multicultural Education department. “This is significant because it will provide an opportunity for students from Haitian backgrounds to have their language and culture supported and developed, while also providing the same opportunity to those who do not come from this particular background.”

The program came about in response to community feedback gathered over the past few years in discussions between the District and various community members. Approximately two and a half years ago, the District surveyed the Haitian community and determined that there was support and interest in having a Haitian Creole dual language program.

During the program’s first year, students will be exposed to general language, culture, and enrichment. They will have the opportunity to learn the language and strengthen their Haitian Creole-speaking skills.

In the 2022-2023 school year, the full two-way dual immersion program will begin. Haitian Creole will be taught during language arts instruction for approximately 50% of the time, with language arts taught in English the other 50% of the time. Students will also be taught a core subject of social studies and/or science in Haitian Creole.

“All dual language programs throughout the District provide amazing opportunities for students to build their bilingual, biliteracy, and bicultural skills, positioning them to be leaders in our global society,” Oaxaca said. “Providing this new program in Haitian Creole and English will continue to expand our District's tradition of strong dual language programs while at the same time honoring our students and communities of Haitian descent.”