Davis Bilingual Elementary Magnet School

Tucson, AZ

La Escuela de Atracción Bilingüe Davis: Inspirando y fortaleciendo a nuestros alumnos ha convertirse en ciudadanos responsables y productivos de sus comunidades y del mundo.

Davis Bilingual Magnet School inspires and empowers its diverse students to become thoughtful and responsible citizens of their community and the world.

ETWC Report Summary: Davis Bilingual Magnet School exceeds all expectations intellectually, pedagogically, and spiritually, in all domains in which teaching, and learning take place. It is a beautiful Whole Child school and in many ways serves as the heart of the community it serves.

The first distinctive element is the school-wide Dual Language Program. The school uses a Spanish-English dual language immersion model throughout. As reported on the school’s website, nearly all students achieve proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking both in Spanish and English by the fifth grade. Students’ academic achievement, as measured by standardized tests (in English), matches or exceeds district and national averages.

A second distinctive element is the focus on the integration of learning with the beautiful and productive vegetable garden, as well as flock of egg producing chickens. Classroom teachers, students, and the Extended Day staff and students make use of the gardens at Davis. A full-time gardening teacher, and several volunteer University of Arizona students all help in the gardens. Parents and community members volunteer on garden work days. The school takes pride in seasonal vegetables and herbs it grows, as well as its native plants and pollinators. The aquaponics system, provided by the Community Food Bank in Tucson, is maintained by an aquaponics club of students in grades two through five. The aquaponics and gardening programs have changed the students’ eating habits, as they learn to value and enjoy the fresh produce grown in their school.

The third distinctive element is the performing mariachi group, Las Aquilitas. It consists of approximately 60 members from grades 1-5. They perform at public functions and before local and state leaders as well as in schools and nursing homes. This program is an important part of Spanish language development, since the songs are performed in Spanish. Students participating in the program must meet standards of academic performance and behavior so that they can serve as positive role models in the community.

The fourth noteworthy element is the strong connections to the community, providing wide opportunities to participate in enrichment programs. Regular outdoor exercise and freedom to stretch and move during class help students be calm and focused when that is called for. Many volunteers, outside agencies and university staff visitors to Davis appear on a daily basis, and are handled in such a way that they do not disrupt school routines. Davis offers an extended day program during which students have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of classes, including guitar, trumpet, violin, Aguilitas mariachi group, scrapbooking, folklórico, hip-hop, and gardening.

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A focus on celebrating the diversity of students’ cultures and languages.

Curriculum stresses social justice, inspiring and empowering students to become thoughtful, productive global citizens.

Dual language immersion education integrated into all teaching and learning across the grades and disciplines.

Integration of gardening and performing arts utilizing strong connections to community volunteers