HEB ISD Suzuki StringsViridian Elementary Offers Three Schools of Choice Programs

Viridian Elementary School will be a Schools of Choice campus, in keeping with the tradition in Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD of offering a world-class education beginning in the earliest grades. The following programs will be available options for parents who choose to enroll their children at Viridian Elementary School:

Suzuki Strings: Viridian Elementary School will be the eighth campus in HEB ISD to offer this unique strings program. HEB ISD is the only school district in north Texas with a K-12 strings program. Suzuki Strings begins in Kindergarten and students who enroll may continue through secondary orchestra. Parents who enroll their children in Suzuki Strings will give their children the opportunity to play the violin, viola, cello and string bass using the internationally renowned Suzuki instructional approach.

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki created this method of teaching students to play string instruments. Research shows that playing a string instrument can positively affect students’ abilities in core subjects, such as math, science and reading. The Suzuki Method develops the whole child and provides lifelong skills, such as listening, observation, memorization, and concentration. Students learn discipline and focus, and they gain self-confidence, all of which can be applied throughout life.

Spanish Immersion: Viridian Elementary School will be HEB ISD’s third Spanish Immersion campus. Spanish Immersion begins in first grade. Students accepted into the program are taught their core classes in Spanish. They are provided with English instruction during story time, PE, fine arts, and at the library. Students receive direct instruction in the English language, beginning in the second semester of second grade.  Additional time is provided for the teaching of English in the following years, through sixth grade. Students who complete the elementary program have an opportunity to continue their immersion studies in secondary school. Parents who choose Spanish Immersion for their children know the goal is to provide facility in the Spanish language by sixth grade, while teaching the skills and concepts in core subject areas, based on the state standards for the appropriate grade level. Immersion students also cultivate inquiry and logic using both languages.

World LanguagesThe elementary World Languages Schools of Choice program is the first of its kind in HEB ISD. It will establish a strong foundation about the history, traditions, art, and music associated with three world languages, as well as provide an understanding of oral vocabulary skills in grades 1-3. In grades 4-6, formal target language instruction can begin. Structured inquiry, critical thinking, and real world problem solving will provide the framework for exploration of language, art, music, geography, and history at each grade level. 

The World Languages Schools of Choice program is not an immersion program. Parents who choose to enroll their children know they are providing a unique opportunity for their children to learn art, music, and language in addition to regular instruction in core subject areas.

Grades 1-3

  • Students will receive 45 minutes of instruction about the history, art, and music associated with Hindi, Arabic, and Mandarin languages during art and music periods.
  • Students will not be pulled out of core subject areas for World Language instruction.
  • After three years of early experiences with World Languages, children will have the opportunity to select one language to focus on beginning in fourth grade.*

Grades 4-6

  • If students choose to focus on one language, they will receive instruction from a teacher certified in the target language and also certified in elementary education.* 
  • The language classes are chosen in lieu of art and music classes. Art and music will be incorporated appropriately through the language acquisition classes.
  • Participating students will leave sixth grade with an academic edge if they choose to continue instruction in their chosen language by enrolling in the International Business Initiative beginning in seventh grade. 

*NOTE: In response to input from parents and students interested in the World Languages program at the new Viridian Elementary, for students who are selected for the World Languages School of Choice and who will enter grades 4-6 at Viridian in 2014, there will be a full semester of “exploratory” language study before students will be asked to choose their language of study.  Students will be exposed to all three languages of Hindi, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic so that they can choose to study the language that seems to be the best fit.  This “exploratory” semester will occur only during the 2014-2015 school year for our World Language students.