Fort Sheridan Schools FAQ

 
Frequently Asked Questions

Fort Sheridan Schools - Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of commonly asked questions and answers. Please don't hesitate to contact us if any questions aren't answered, or more information is desired.


Does Fort Sheridan have its own elementary school?

Fort Sheridan is in the school boundary for Oak Terrace Elementary School. The school is in Highwood, and a short bus ride for Fort residents.

 

What is Dual Language Immersion?

"In dual language immersion (DLI), native Spanish speakers and native English speakers maintain and develop their first language while acquiring native-like communication and literacy skills  in a second language.  Academic content is taught and assessed in two languages over an extended period of time." - Retrieved from https://multilingual.madison.k12.wi.us/dual-language-immersion

 

What are the goals of Dual Language Immersion?

"The goals of dual language are for students to develop high levels of language proficiency and literacy in both program languages, to demonstrate high levels of academic achievement, and to develop an appreciation for and an understanding of diverse cultures." - Retrieved from this site

 

What does the research say about dual language immersion?

"During the last decade, multiple research studies have demonstrated the significant cognitive benefits derived from early language learning, as well as the potential long-term educational and career benefits that multilingual students accrue." - Retrieved from this site

"POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE: Collier and Thomas discovered that the effectiveness of dual language education extends beyond academic outcomes. The entire school community benefits when multiple languages and cultural heritages are validated and respected. Friendships bridge class and language barriers. Teachers report higher levels of job satisfaction. Parents from both language groups participate more actively in schools." - Retrieved from this site

 

Is Oak Terrace a Magnet School?

No, it is not technically classified as a magnet school. All kids within its boundary can attend Oak Terrace. However, there are discussions of making it a magnet school for the district due to its successful dual language curriculum throughout all grades in the school.

 

Does Oak Terrace offer English only sections?

Currently, K-3 only offer dual language sections. 4th and 5th grades each have one English section, but these will likely be phased out as there is a waiting list to attend Oak Terrace for the dual language program.

 

Is Oak Terrace and Dual Language the only public school option for Fort Sheridan residents with kids?

No. Fort residents that aren't interested in dual language, or prefer another District 112 school, have the options of either Wayne Thomas or Indian Trail. The District 112 office needs to be contacted, and they will discuss the process with any interested parents. Learn more about District 112 and contact them here.

 

Why are oak terrace scores not as high as the other district 112 schools?

Current statewide academic testing is based on English only curriculum. Oak Terrace's classes are taught approximately 80% in Spanish with a mixed classroom of native English speakers and Spanish speakers. The current testing standards are not designed for immersion programs and this negatively impacts how Oak Terrace ranks. There are multiple studies that document the significant learning advantages that immersion students receive, and that students in dual language programs often outpace English only students by middle school.

Here's an article that discusses the advantages of immersion programs and the increased pace of learning for dual language students after the 5th grade: https://www.weareteachers.com/why-immersion-may-be-the-key-to-foreign-language-learning/