Chancellor Fariña Announces Citywide Bilingual Expansion - Bringing 68 New Programs to Schools This Fall

  • Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 Updated: Wed Feb 20, 2019

New Programs Will Increase Educational Rigor, College Readiness and Parent Engagement Efforts for Students. First Ever Bilingual Program in Urdu to Open in Brooklyn. Schools Receive Funds for Resources and Training for Bilingual Staff

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the opening of 68 new Dual Language and Transitional Bilingual Education programs this September – the most programs to open at the start of a school year since 2010. The citywide initiative includes 39 Dual Language (DL) and 29 Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) programs, and for the first time, will introduce an Urdu program.

“We are a City of immigrants that is stronger because of our different cultures and languages,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This bilingual expansion will provide thousands more students with high-quality programs, and sends a clear message that we welcome all families in our school system.”

“As a first-generation American and former English Language Learner, I know firsthand the many benefits of being bilingual, and this expansion will expose many more students in our City’s schools to multiple languages,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We’ve made essential strides for ELL and bilingual students, and these rigorous programs will establish a path to long-term student success while bringing parents to the classroom in new ways.”

Each school opening a DL program will receive a $20,000 planning grant, and each school opening a TBE program will receive a $10,000 planning grant. The programs are funded through the Federal Title III Language Instruction for ELLs program – providing teachers and principals with quality resources, materials and training to ensure schools are implementing rigorous bilingual education programs. Additionally, ELLs receive extra funding through a new Fair Student Funding formula that helps schools provide additional materials, services and supports to strengthen instruction for ELLs. The citywide initiative will cost $1.1 million.

For the first time, the Department of Education (DOE) will offer an Urdu bilingual program in addition to opening programs in Chinese, Russian, Arabic, French, Bengali, and Spanish. The new programs announced today include 68 programs across 66 schools – one in the Bronx, 26 in Brooklyn, 15 in Manhattan, 24 in Queens and two on Staten Island. Among these new bilingual programs, 38 are in elementary schools, 16 are in middle schools, and 14 are in high schools.

“I’ve spent my career serving English Language Learners, and delivering a first-rate education and bilingual services to students and their families,” said Milady Baez, Deputy Chancellor for the Division of English Language Learners and Student Support. “These premier programs allow students to maintain their native language while mastering English, preparing them for real world experiences and success beyond the classroom.”

Under Chancellor Fariña’s leadership, 90 bilingual programs have opened across the City in the past three years. Overall, there will be 507 bilingual programs across the City by September 2017. In addition, 15 schools were named Model Dual Language Programs in 2015 and are now part of an initiative that fosters collaborative practices among DL educators, elevating the quality of programs across the City and providing support and guidance to school staff interested in opening programs.

Families of ELLs can request placement in either a DL or TBE program in addition to receiving English as a New Language (ENL) services. In DL classes, about 50% of students are ELLs and 50% are English-proficient students – both groups of students receive instruction together in English and a target language. In TBE programs, ELLs who speak a common home language receive instruction in that language with intensive support in English. Gradually, students receive more instruction in English and less in their home language, until they reach proficiency in English. Families are offered guidance and support when deciding on a bilingual program for their child and the DOE will continue to increase DL and TBE programs to provide additional options for families. DL and TBE programs offer a host of services for ELLs that help them acquire a new language while strengthening their native language, and the goal of both is to educate ELL and English-proficient students to become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural.

The Division of English Language Learners and Student Support (DELLSS) worked with school communities to identify locations across all grade levels where they could open a DL or TBE program. Schools opening new programs this fall will be provided ongoing training and professional development to ensure teachers and administrators are prepared to lead strong bilingual programs.

The DOE also supports schools as they recruit bilingual teachers and offers a program to support certified teachers with language proficiency to obtain their bilingual extension certificate. Under a new agreement with the UFT, qualified teachers who earn a bilingual extension certificate can teach under that license while maintaining their former teaching license status.

Family engagement is an important part of the bilingual program expansion. The DOE has significantly increased its efforts to ensure families of ELLs are well-informed and provided with resources to help their children succeed. The DOE has increased resources for families, including expanding translation and interpretation services. This includes direct access to over-the-phone interpreters for schools available 24 hours a day so they can serve families as well as nine new positions across Field Support Centers to ensure schools are providing families full access to translation and interpretation services. The DOE has also increased translation and interpretation services for Citywide and Community Education Councils and launched new Native Language Parent Conferences for ELL families in Mandarin, Bengali, Arabic and Spanish in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.

“Our school community is both thrilled and honored to open the City’s first Urdu Transitional Bilingual Education program,” said Robert Bonilla, Principal of P.S. 217 Colonel David Marcus School. “Bilingual programs are proven to enhance rigor in the classroom, celebrate the diversity of our families and develop students’ multilingual skills, preparing them for real world experiences and success.”

“Our new Spanish Dual Language program will elevate the classroom experience for our youngest learners and encourage an appreciation for language and culture,” said Lorraine Hasty, Principal of P.S./M.S. 57, James Weldon Johnson Leadership Academy. “In our ever-expanding global society, exposure to more than one language is crucial and we are committed to providing all students with the necessary tools and resources to ensure they are successful and prepared for college and 21st century careers. Our teachers are excited to collaborate with model bilingual educators to ensure our teaching and learning capacity of Dual Language is refined and advanced.”

“The Transitional Bilingual Education program at In-Tech Academy will enhance our learning community and give families another choice for students to excel academically and socially,” said Stephen Seltzer, Principal of ln-Tech Academy.“Providing students to learn and experience the world in more than one language is a gift and our school community is beyond thankful for this opportunity that will undoubtedly open many doors to our students and strengthen our school culture.” 

“Our message is that everyone is welcome,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. “By expanding transitional bilingual programs as well as Dual Language, we are giving parents more options so they can find the school and program that is the best fit for their child.”

“Studies point to the fact that providing a bilingual education is not only advantageous for students’ long-term success, but also an asset in the City’s growing multicultural communities,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “This expansion, including those in my district, recognizes the critical role diversity plays in our schools and I applaud Chancellor Fariña for her commitment in creating a foundation which will allow our children to reach their fullest potential.”

"Bilingual instruction is a smart investment in our students that takes advantage of an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “We know language acquisition is easier before adulthood, and foreign language ability opens up new worlds of culture and career opportunities, enriching our students' lives and brightening their futures.”

“Congratulations to Chancellor Fariña and the Department of Education for expanding bilingual programs and giving our parents more educational options for their children,” said Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, who is also the chair the Assembly's Committee on Education. “Congratulations to Principal Edward Santos of I.S. 93Q and Principal Judy Mittler of I.S. 125Q as our community schools gain much needed additional funding to provide better educational services and improving the academic success for our students.”

“Dual language programs equip our students with the language skills they need to succeed in school and at work," said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm.  “I applaud this expansion which will have a lasting positive impact on these young peoples' lives.  I will continue to work with Chancellor Fariña to expand this important initiative.”

“As the representative of one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the country, I’m thrilled to see the expansion of dual language programs across our schools,” said Rep. Joe Crowley. “Programs like these not only enrich our students’ own development, but by fostering the understanding of new cultures, it strengthens communities. I thank Chancellor Fariña and the Department of Education for recognizing the importance of a bilingual education and for seeing through an initiative that sets up our children for success.”

“Being bilingual has become a more desired skill by employers in today’s globalized world, said” State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “Aside from the obvious practical benefits, studies have found speaking two or more languages can have a profound effect on your brain, improve cognitive skills and even prevent dementia in old age. That is why I am pleased to see Chancellor Farina’s initiative to expand bilingual programming in 66 schools citywide, including 24 in Queens. This expansion will offer courses in multiple languages, including Urdu, Mandarin, Arabic and Spanish, further enriching our children’s exposure to different cultures. I would like to thank the Department of Education for committing to provide our students will an even more well-rounded public education.”

“Improving the language proficiency and academic attainment of our children is key to creating upward social mobility and increasing their opportunity for economic success, said Assemblymember Marcos Crespo. “No other state or nation on earth has a more diverse student body than we have in New York and the United States respectively. The expansion of dual language and transitional bilingual education is a welcomed and needed improvement to our primary and secondary education.”

“New York’s diversity has helped make it the capital of the world,” said Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried. “By increasing the languages covered by bilingual education programs and by expanding them citywide, the de Blasio administration and the NYC Department of Education are strengthening the fabric of our City, improving the quality of public education, and helping to ensure that our workforce will be ready to meet the challenges of the global economy far into the future.”

“Being bilingual is a tremendous asset, especially in a city as diverse as New York, said Assemblymember Francisco P. Moya. “ Along with promoting healthy cognitive development, learning a second language helps students become more competitive when they enter the job market, and allows them to learn about other cultures in new ways. The younger you are when you begin learning a language, the easier it is to grasp and master and now even more students will have that opportunity with more Dual Language courses available in schools throughout NYC. Queens, in particular, is home to more languages than anywhere else in the United States, and I applaud DOE for the variety of languages offered with the program’s expansion.” 

"Bilingual education programming, especially the Chinese Dual Language Program at P.S. 162 The John Golden School, is essential to the continued success of our students,” said Assemblymember Nily Rozic. “This new effort reflects the City's efforts to embrace social, cultural, and linguistic diversity and I hope to see it continue both inside and outside our classrooms."

“As the state elected official in the 24th Assembly District representing one of the largest Urdu and Bengali speaking constituencies in Queens, I applaud Chancellor Farina and the NYC Department of Education in implementing a Dual Language and Transitional Bilingual Education program, said Assemblymember David Weprin. “This initiative is sure to help students thrive in their learning environments and enhance their academic experience in the NYC school system.” 

“In our ever increasingly diverse world, it is essential that our students have the tools they need to communicate, advance, and succeed in the classroom and beyond, said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “I commend the Department of Education and Chancellor Fariña for their commitment to providing a well-rounded education for our young New Yorkers.”

“This exciting expansion further proves that New York City is a place for everyone,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “Embracing a wide range of languages is going to benefit all of our kids, and it will keep our City on the cutting edge. I thank Chancellor Fariña and our outstanding Department of Education for giving all of our kids the tools they need to reach their potential.”

“The ability to speak more than one language is becoming more important than ever as our student population continues to grow and diversify, said Council Member Peter Koo. “This expansion of Dual Language and Transitional Bilingual Education programs will provide our kids with the right tools to succeed in this new multi-language learning environment.”

“Our school services should reflect the diverse community that calls New York City home,” said Council Member Stephen Levin “I applaud Chancellor Fariña’s announcement on the expansion of bilingual services in our educational system. The message is clear – no matter what language you speak, you can achieve educational success.”

“Language access remains one of the key civil rights issues in our City,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Starting Dual Language education at a young age will mean students will have a major leg up throughout their educational career. At the same time, this will level the playing field for newly arrived residents from other countries. This is a major step forward for equality and a big stride toward a brighter City. I want to thank Chancellor Fariña for this major announcement and Mayor de Blasio for his vision for all New Yorkers.”

“I commend Chancellor Fariña and the Department of Education on the expansion of bilingual programming,” said Council Member Eric Ulrich. “This initiative, reflective of our City’s diversity, will be especially helpful to students in Queens, where there are nearly 20,000 Urdu speakers.”

Below is a complete list schools opening bilingual programs in September 2017:


In-Tech Academy – Spanish TBE


M.S. 113 Ronald Edmonds Learning Center – French DL 
J.H.S. 88 Peter Rouget – Spanish DL 
P.S. 230 Doris L. Cohen – Spanish DL 
Khalil Gibran International Academy – Arabic TBE 
M.S. 821 Sunset Park Prep – Spanish TBE 
P.S. 65 – Spanish TBE 
Multicultural High School – Spanish DL 
P.S. 102 The Bayview Spanish TBE 
P.S. 164 Caesar Rodney – Spanish TBE
P.S. 170 Ralph A. Fabrizio School – Chinese DL 
P.S. 186 Dr. Irving A Gladstone– Chinese TBE 
J.H.S. 220 John J. Pershing–Spanish DL 
P.S. 503 The School of Discovery– Spanish DL 
P.S. 506 The School of Journalism & Technology – Chinese TBE 
P.S. 97 The Highlawn – Chinese TBE 
P.S. 225 The Eileen E. Zaglin –  Russian DL 
John Dewey High School– Spanish TBE 
P.S. 206 Joseph F Lamb – Russian DL 
P.S. 217 Colonel David Marcus School – Urdu TBE and Spanish DL
P.S. 274 Kosciusko – Spanish DL 
I.S. 347 School of Humanities – Spanish TBE 
P.S. 376 – Spanish DL 
P.S. /I.S. 384 Frances E. Carter – Spanish TBE 
EBC High School for Public Service – Spanish TBE 
P.S. 373 - Brooklyn Transition Center – Spanish DL


P.S. 124 Yung Wing – Chinese TBE
P.S. 126 Jacob August Riis – Chinese TBE 
P.S. 145 The Bloomingdale School – Russian DL
P.S./M.S 57 James Weldon Johnson – Spanish DL 
P.S. 96 Joseph Lanzetta – Spanish DL 
P.S. 4 Duke Ellington – Spanish DL
P.S. 5 Ellen Lurie – Spanish DL
P.S. 173 – Spanish DL
The College Academy – Spanish DL
High School for Law and Public Service – Spanish DL
I.S. 528 Bea Fuller Rodgers School – Spanish DL
Gregorio Luperon High School for Science and Mathematics – Spanish DL
P.S. 79 Horan School – Spanish DL
P.S. 192 Jacob H. Schiff – Spanish DL
High School for Health Careers and Science – Spanish DL


I.S. 5 The Walter Crowley Intermediate School –  Spanish DL 
I.S. 73 The Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School – Spanish DL 
I.S. 93 Ridgewood – Spanish DL 
P.S. 102 Bayview – Chinese DL 
I.S. 125 Thom J. McCann Woodside – Spanish DL 
P.S. 21 Edward Hart – Chinese TBE 
P.S. 29 Queens – Spanish TBE 
P.S. 107 Thomas A Dooley – Chinese TBE and Spanish DL 
J.H.S. 185 Edward Bleeker – Chinese DL 
J.H.S. 189 Daniel Carter Beard – Chinese DL 
I.S. 237 – Chinese TBE 
P.S. 242 Leonard P. Stavisky Early Childhood School – Chinese TBE 
P.S. 244 The Active Learning Elementary School – Chinese TBE 
P.S. 162 John Golden – Chinese DL 
P.S. 63 Old South- Spanish TBE 
P.S. 64 Joseph P. Addabbo – Bengali TBE 
M.S. 137 America's School of Heroes – Spanish DL 
Queens High School for Information, Research, and Technology – Spanish TBE 
P.S. 362 Wave Preparatory Elementary School – Spanish TBE 
P.S. 86 – Bengali TBE 
Forest Hills High School – Spanish DL
Hillcrest High School – Bengali TBE 
P.S. 131 Abigail Adams – Bengali TBE

Staten Island

P.S. 20 Port Richmond – Spanish DL 
I.S. 61 William A Morris – Spanish DL

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