|The objective of the Spanish Immersion Program is to provide a quality second language learning experience for students during their key language acquisition years at no expense to their primary language development. The program is research based and provides a culturally diverse experience for the entire school community. The district along with the faculty and staff at Buffalo Point Elementary are united in their support of this school choice opportunity for students. |
The Spanish Immersion Program at Buffalo Point Elementary is designed for students whose primary language is the dominant language of society (English) upon entry to school. In the Immersion Program, a second language (Spanish), along with the students’ home language, is used to teach regular school subjects. A major objective of the immersion program is oral fluency and literacy in both English and Spanish.
|According to the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), learning a second language at an early age:|
• has a positive effect on intellectual growth and enhances mental development
• leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening
• improves a child’s understanding of his/her native language
• gives a child the ability to communicate with people she or he would otherwise not have the chance to know and encourages cross-cultural friendships
• opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries
• gives a student a head start in language requirements for college
• increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset
|The Spanish Immersion Program is designed for students of all proficiency levels and abilities whose majority language is English, except those with significant communication delays (English skills scoring a one or two on the Language Assessment Scale, LAS®). The Language Immersion Program is available for students entering kindergarten. (There may be a limited number of openings for first grade applicants.)|
|The Davis Essential Skills and Knowledge (DESK) standards will be taught at the appropriate grade levels. Language Arts, (reading, writing, spelling) will be taught in English and Spanish. Literacy skills will be addressed daily beginning in first grade. Mathematics, science/health and social studies will be taught in Spanish. These subjects will also be supported as part of the English classroom. |
|In the kindergarten classroom, the teacher will equally divide the instruction and learning time between English and Spanish. Spanish time will be a clear transition - visibly marked by the teacher wearing the “Spanish” necklace. For the Spanish portion of class, students will be immersed in the second language. The teacher will only speak Spanish and instructional materials will be in Spanish. The teacher, using multi modalities will communicate through visuals, songs, body language, expression and drama to achieve understanding. Beginning in first grade, there will be a clear and sustained separation of languages during instructional time. Students will have two teachers and two classrooms. (If enrollment numbers remain consistent.) Fifty percent of a student’s instructional time will be spent in the “Spanish” classroom with the “Spanish” teacher and 50 percent of their instructional time will be spent in the “English” classroom with the “English” teacher. It is amazing how quickly a young child is able to understand the new language and speak in words, phrases, and sentences.|
|Highly qualified teachers will be instructing in each Immersion classroom. The teachers have been carefully selected and trained in the Immersion model. They have acquired the special skills necessary for students to be successful in second language acquisition. Spanish teachers will be native Spanish speakers or have native-like proficiency of the Spanish language.|
|Parents who desire to enroll their child in the Program do not need to speak Spanish, but need to commit to the following:|
• Continuous, long term enrollment (K-6) at Buffalo Point Elementary regardless of teacher or track assignment - stay with the program!
• Read a minimum of 20-30 minutes daily with their child (in English)
• Provide a rich English language environment at home
• Provide community support and when possible, be an active volunteer
• Enjoy the challenges, Enjoy the results!
|1. Attend an orientation meeting scheduled at the school.|
2. Obtain an application at the orientation meeting.
3. Submit the application on or before the due date.
4. You will be notified about the status of your child’s application.
5. Sign the Parent Commitment Form to complete registration and acceptance.
REMEMBER: The Spanish Immersion Program seeks to enroll a broad range of students from a variety of proficiency levels and abilities.