As we’ve talked with diverse groups of school leaders across the country about dual language immersion education, we’ve discovered that learning communities explore and launch immersion programs for a variety of reasons:
- increased academic gains for students
- enrollment growth
- student preparedness for a globalized economy
- a desire to more fully represent and better serve an ethnically and linguistically diverse community
- belief in the missional importance of cross-cultural communication
Of course, these reasons aren’t mutually exclusive, and school communities typically cite several of these reasons as important in their decision making process.
As we look ahead to the 2017-18 academic year, we’re thrilled partner with with 20 schools and districts across the U.S., and to serve nearly 3,000 students and 200 educators. And as the leaders of our partner schools will attest, partnership with add.a.lingua is no small undertaking.
We ask a lot of our partners in terms of their time commitment to immersion specific professional learning, application of research based instructional practices, and regular formative assessment of students in the target language. And we’re of the opinion that the hard work that our partners do each year to maintain and build the quality of their programs is worth celebrating, don’t you?
It would be awesome to pull an Oprah and send them each a brand new car…but for now, we’ll use the power of the internet to sing their praises.
For all the families out there considering an immersion program for your student(s), please get in touch with one of our partners in your area and learn more. And if there’s not an add.a.lingua partner school in your area, be sure to check out our helpful checklist:
add.a.lingua’s 2017-18 partners
Calvary Christian Academy is one of our three brand new partners in 17-18. We love the passion they have for their school community and the possibilities that an immersion program opens up for their area. They’re offering preschool, kindergarten, and two first grade sections this fall.
Grandville Calvin Christian (grade school and middle school) is our second oldest partner. They provide an early-total one-way Spanish immersion program, and their dedicated team of leaders and teachers will be offering preschool – 8th grade this fall. Middle school students will spend 50% of their time in the immersion language–which is so very important for continued growth. Go Squires!
Corpus Christi Catholic School is a 90-10 two-way immersion program. They’re a long-time partner and administrator Jo-Jones has been powerful advocate for immersion education in the Catholic school community. They have been able to share their experience in cross-cultural bridge building via immersion education far and wide. They’ll be offering preschool – 4th grade Spanish immersion classes this fall.
The first Spanish immersion program in the South Bend area, Covenant Christian has been an immersion forerunner in Indiana–having run a successful program long before the state of Indiana began offering grants for immersion program start-ups. They’ll offer preschool through 6th grade early-total one-way Spanish immersion this fall.
The pride of St. John! (or so we like to call them : ) Crown Point Christian will offer preschool – 3rd grade early-total one-way Spanish immersion this fall. Their program has grown like gangbusters over the last several years, and we’re excited to welcome their new principal, Mr. Wiersma, to the party!
So far north and west, you can practically hit Vancouver with a roca from the campus–Evergreen Christian School offers an early-total one-way Spanish immersion program. We love the pride that principal (and immersion grandpa) Glen Hendricks has for his school and their growing program. His commitment to professional learning from a distance was present long before we made it easier with add.a.lessonly. Evergreen Christian School will offer preschool through second grade this fall.
We attempted to bottle up the humility of principal John Barkel and the enthusiasm of program point person Julie Karnemaat, but apparently the FDA has to get involved when you’re dealing with such high potency educational medicine. Suffice it to say, it’s a joy to work with this growing, early-total one-way program. They’ll be offering kindergarten – 4th grade Spanish immersion next year.
Principal James Onderlinde and the team at Grand Haven Christian will be offering an early-total one-way Spanish immersion class (k-1 combination) this fall. They’re a forerunner in the tri-cities area, and we appreciate how they’ve taken their time to do things the right way by educating their community and casting a vision for the power of immersion education, as well as being intentional about learning from other established add.a.lingua partner schools. Grand Haven Christian School is off to a great start!
Under the leadership of principal Iliana Vásquez-Ochoa, Holland Public Schools moved its immersion strand program to Holland Language Academy at Van Raalte last year as the district’s new language magnet school. Enrollment in their 90-10 two-way Spanish immersion program continues to grow, and with a veteran teaching staff, they’re poised to really build upon their past successes this year. Holland Language Academy will offer kindergarten – 7th grade Spanish immersion this fall.
Home of the Crusaders, Holy Cross School is one of the oldest Catholic elementary schools in in Indiana. But they’re our newest 90-10 two-way Spanish immersion partner. Located in South Bend, Indiana, Holy Cross School benefits from a strong community of program champions including staff from Notre Dame University and Holy Cross College. Holy Cross will launch a preschool section this fall, and is well positioned to serve their linguistically diverse community.
One of our longtime partners, Kalamazoo Christian School will offer an early total one-way Spanish immersion program for preschool – 7th grade this fall. Marc Verkaik and Emily VanDis lead a committed team of teachers that consistently show up and do the work to grow in their craft. They’re a dedicated bunch and are working hard prepare their program for the add.a.world evaluation and endorsement. We’re cheering them on!
On Grand Rapids’ south side, Legacy Christian School is growing a quality early-total one-way Spanish immersion program. With veteran teachers, they’re really poised to be a leading program in their area and principal Vince Bonnema has been instrumental in marshaling the resources of his community on behalf of the school and program. Legacy Christian School will offer kindergarten and first grade Spanish immersion this fall.
Muskegon Christian is a fully articulated, preschool-6th grade, early total one-way Spanish immersion program. They’re a longtime add.a.lingua partner school and have been faithfully serving their community since the 1880’s! Muskegon is a diverse community, and MCS is proud that their student body and their families reflect that diversity. Get in touch with principal Dan DeKam if you’re interested in learning more about Spanish immersion at Muskegon Christian.
NorthPointe Christian School offers their community an early-total one-way Spanish immersion program serving preschool-6th grade. Their secondary students benefit from 50% time in the immersion language, and they’re already laying the groundwork for an innovative experience with the essential time and intensity in the immersion language for high school immersion students. Go Mustangs!
The leadership team at Oakland Christian School brims with pride in their teaching team and in the strength of their young program. Offering an early-total one-way Spanish immersion program for preschool – second grade this fall, the OCS community has really responded positively to the addition of their immersion program. It’s clear that administrators Gordon Nickel and Vonda Morga really enjoy their work, and are excited about what immersion education means for their community.
Under the dedicated leadership of David TeGrotenhuis and Rebecca Gomez, Pella Christian Grade School has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 6 years. Immersion education has been a game changer for them, helping to grow enrollment and energize their community. Now offering preschool through 6th grade early-total one-way Spanish immersion, this is a school committed to excellence and the very best outcomes for the students they serve. Keep it up PCGS!
Holding down the immersion fort in California is Redlands Christian School. They’re offering preschool through third grade early total one-way Spanish immersion this fall. With growing enrollment and a lot of energy for their program in their community, it’s been a real pleasure to see the dedicated leadership team of Bill Johnson and Julie In’t Hout roll with the changes that inevitably come with starting a brand new program. They’ve been dedicated participants in our professional development over the years, putting on a lot of miles with their teams. A big round of aplauso for the team at Redlands Christian School!
Offering Chattanooga’s first Spanish immersion program, St. Peter’s Episcopal School now offers preschool through 1st grade early-total one-way Spanish immersion. This leadership team is all heart, and it’s been our pleasure to work with them over the last several years as their program has matured. Program leaders Meredith Ruffner and Monica Griffin have led by example in their participation, and we expect more good things for them in the year ahead.
Our founding partner, Zeeland Christian School offered west Michigan’s lakeshore communities their first immersion program. ZCS has grown significantly over the years with about half of all students now enrolled in one of the schools’s two early-total one-way immersion programs. Spanish immersion is offered preschool – 8th grade, and Mandarin Chinese is now offered preschool – 6th grade. Despite having just celebrated their centennial, ZCS shows no signs of slowing down. This year they’ll welcome a new school administrator, Tim McAboy, and begin to tackle Mandarin Chinese immersion for middle schoolers. Let the adventure…continue!