OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Every parent wants the best for their child to help them succeed later in life, and a quality education plays a key role in their growth.

While schools across the country are trying to increase interest in science and technology fields, one local district is hoping to also strengthen students’ language skills.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, bilingual people develop stronger thinking skills, and have an easier time focusing, remembering, and making decisions.

The department says 50% t o75% of adults around the world speak at least two languages.

“In today’s global society, they have many advantages. Globally, bilingual and biliterate adults have more job opportunities than monolingual adults,” the U.S. Department of Education said.

Now, a metro school district is hoping to give local students a boost in their future endeavors while they are still in kindergarten.

Western Heights Public School District announced that following a series of changes, the district will now be offering dual language pre-K and kindergarten classes.

Officials tell KFOR the classes will be offered at Council Grove Elementary School and John Glenn Elementary School in the 2023-2024 school year.

The program will begin as a 90/10 model for the pre-K and kindergarten students, where their lessons will be held 90% in Spanish and 10% in English.

As the students grow, the program will transition until it reaches 50/50 model in the 3rd and 4th grade.

While the program is currently only offered at the two elementary school, there are plans for it to expand to different campuses and different grade levels.

As many school districts are dealing with a teacher shortage, Western Heights officials say they already have several staff members lined up for the programs next year.

Students will be learning from bilingual teachers, many of whom are native Spanish speakers from countries like Costa Rica, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and Venezuela.

Officials say there will also be bilingual paraeducators in each class to provide extra support so students can learn in smaller groups with one-on-one attention.

The district is hosting informational meetings at both schools to answer parent questions and provide further details about the program.

The first meeting will be held at Council Grove Elementary School on April 11 at 6 p.,m.

The second meeting will be held at John Glenn Elementary School on April 24 at 6 p.m.

Interested parents must attend one meeting to apply for the program.

While attending the informational meeting, parents will be given an application. A lottery for the classes will then be held on June 1.

If space allows, the district says they will be accepting out-of-district transfers for the program.