What is Spanish Immersion?
Spanish Immersion is an opportunity for elementary students to complete the South Kitsap School District curriculum in a nontraditional and exciting way by immersing them in the Spanish language and culture. Students in the program become proficient in both Spanish and English, while learning the same curriculum as the students who are not in the program.
What grades offer Spanish Immersion?
In 2017-18 South Kitsap School District‘s magnet Spanish Immersion Program will be enrolling students in its first grade classroom at Burley Glenwood Elementary School. Students who were enrolled in the Spanish Immersion first grade classroom in 2016-17 will be enrolled in the second grade Spanish Immersion classroom. A Spanish Immersion classroom will be added each year so that by the time the first graders leave Burley Glenwood,they will have had five years of Spanish Immersion. They will be fluent in both Spanish and English and ready to enter the middle school Spanish Immersion Program.
How does this classroom differ from other first grade classrooms?
Students in the Spanish Immersion first grade classroom are taught the standard South Kitsap School District curriculum using a 50/50 immersion model. To ensure that the students have a good foundation in English, Reading and Language Arts will be taught in English. Math, Science and Social Studies instruction will be in Spanish, as will daily conversations. Each consecutive year of the program the percentage of Spanish instruction will increase with the goal of full immersion by grade five.The classroom teacher has native or near native ability in the Spanish language and strong instructional skills.
What if no one at home speaks Spanish?
Report cards, notices and newsletters are in English. Responsibility for Spanish instruction is the school’s. Spanish homework assignments are not translated into English. However, it is not expected that parents will assist in Spanish homework assignments. The role of the parent is to support their child’s learning and to continue to provide support in their child’s English language development by reading to and with their child in English and enriching their development, understanding and recognition of English vocabulary.
Why choose this Program for my 1st grader?
Since the first grade program is a 50/50 model with Reading and Language Arts taught in English, students' English skills will continue to be supported. However, to ensure that the child's English language continues to thrive, families should focus their attention on the continued development of their child's English vocabulary through reading with and to their child in English and providing opportunities for their child to increase their recognition and understanding of English vocabulary.
Studies have found that learning a second language at an early age has many benefits:
- There is a positive effect on brain development and intellectual growth.
- Students gain flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
- It opens the door to other cultures and helps children understand and appreciate people from other countries.
- Students acquire Spanish language fluency.
- Spanish Immersion produces successful learners who perform well academically.
- Students have increased job opportunities in careers where knowledge of another language is an asset.
What is the commitment?
Parents should be committed to keeping their child in this program at least through grade six. In addition, they must consider that this is a partnership where they have the responsibility of enriching their child’s English vocabulary. Since this is a magnet program, parents must provide transportation if they live outside of the Burley-Glenwood service area.
Are there special considerations?
Children are not screened or pre-selected on the basis of IQ or other variables. However, parents of children with auditory problems, language delays or other challenges to learning should seriously consider the appropriateness of this program for their child. We suggest that the parents consult with the school counselor or principal before making their decision.
The parents of any student scheduled to enter first grade in September, 2017 and who are interested in enrolling their child in the first grade Spanish Immersion class at Burley-Glenwood may complete a “First Grade Spanish Immersion Class” form and submit an application for the class.
How are students selected?
The first grade Spanish Immersion class at Burley-Glenwood is limited to 24 spaces.
Immersion Program, priority consideration will be given to those families who have siblings already enrolled in the program. If more applications are received then there are spaces, then students will be placed on a waiting list. Should vacancies occur then a “lottery” process will be used to select students off the list. This list will be valid through October, 2017.
- Priority is given to those living in the South Kitsap School District.
- Admission is determined by language/academic proficiency and available space.
- The child’s home school is considered to achieve a balanced representation among the elementary schools across the district.
- In future years, as additional grade levels are added to the Spanish Immersion Program, priority consideration will be given to those families who have siblings already enrolled in the program, however it is not guaranteed.
First Grade Spanish Immersion Information Night
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
5:30-6:30 pm at Burley Glenwood Elementary
Spanish Immersion Flyer
Examples of Spanish Immersion classrooms at work can be seen in this video taken from the Minnetonka Public Schools in Minnesota.