Chaparral Elementary School is nestled in between the Franklin Mountains and part of the sprawling Gadsden Independent School District that embraces the border with both Texas and Mexico. Chaparral Elementary School is a predominantly Hispanic school community that supports its students’ bilingualism by implementing a 50/50 dual language program model strand at the school. Chaparral Elementary School’s one-way dual language values its students’ knowledge of Spanish and English. This is evident in the school’s balanced literacy approach where teachers gauge new students’ abilities based on how to read, write, and comprehend in their strongest language – whether or not that language is English.
The leadership, Laura Pargas and Vicki Arnold, together with the school community have set a goal of becoming a Blue Ribbon School in the future. The teachers, students, and families will strive to accomplish this goal together by valuing the community’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity with strong bilingual approaches in literacy and language across the content areas. Chaparral Elementary School received a school grade of A. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of English learners achieved proficiency in Reading and 67% in Math, surpassing state targets.