School starts with big changes for two Hickory schools

School starts with big changes for two Hickory schools

LONG VIEW, NC (WBTV) - The new school year brought a major swap of students at two schools in the Hickory School System in Catawba County.

Long View Elementary sent its K-2 students to Southwest Elementary and Southwest sent its grades 3-5 students to Long View. It was all an effort to set up the school system's first Primary School.

The new school, called Southwest Primary, will focus on literacy and more than just learning ABC's. "Reading, speaking, writing and critical thinking in all subjects," said Principal Stephanie Dischiavi. The goal is to bring all k-2 students up to grade level proficiency and more.

The school also has started a Dual Language Emergence program for parents who want to sign up their kindergarten kids. They will have the normal curriculum you would expect for the youngsters but in these classes they will learn in Spanish on one day, the next day in English.

The language will rotate on a daily basis. The hope is that by the time the children are in first and second grades they could be bilingual and bi-literate, says Dischiavi. "They will both speak and read and write in Spanish."

Parents say they are optimistic it will pay off, though most seemed more excited about the focus on literacy. That, they said is most important of all. "It can do good things all the way around," said Crystal Ferguson.

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