Some Austin Schools Respond to Increasing Asian Population
The City of Austin estimates Asians and Asian-Americans will exceed the number of African-Americans in the city over next several years, based on new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Overall, the school district reaches out to non-English speaking parents and students by providing translators and handouts printed in multiple languages.
Individual schools provide additional services.
According to the City of Austin, many Vietnamese are moving to North Austin, where Summit Elementary School has a dual language Vietnamese program.
Principal Deirdre Standish says the school provides English classes to parents, Vietnamese cultural days and more.
“They start creating a buddy system so our kids who don’t speak English have a way to start making friends, and that flows over to our parents," Standish says.
The school has at least one teacher in each grade level who speaks Vietnamese fluently. It also posts every sign in English, Vietnamese and Spanish.
At Davis Elementary, the number of Asian students has increased by ten percent over the past decade. Most of the Asian students are Korean. Principal Jenny Daniels says they hired a Korean translator to specifically work with those students:
“She’s able to provide support to students in classroom and pull them out of the classroom for small group instruction and just help them assimilate to the culture of the school and the region," Daniels says.
There are 86 languages spoken by students in AISD.