ABOUT LANGUAGE IMMERSION
Language immersion is an approach to second language instruction in which teaching and learning of core content occurs in a language other than English. This means that the target language is the medium of instruction for the teacher and of learning for the students. Blue Valley uses a dual language immersion model in which students are co-taught by two full-time classroom teachers, spending half of the day in the target immersion language and half in English. The immersion program begins in kindergarten and participating families are asked to make a long-term, multi-year commitment to immersion education.
The application process for the 2019-20 school year has concluded. Information about the 2020-21 school year will be available by February, 2020.
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
The goal of immersion is language acquisition at a proficiency level equal to the native language, with content and culture as complementary components. Blue Valley's long-term goal is for students to graduate with distinctive bi-lingual skills in multiple language families that set them apart for academic and professional success, as well as provide lifelong personal reward and global intercultural connections.
- Enhances cognitive skills
- Increases cultural competence
- Better prepares students for the global community where a second language is an asset
- Improves performance on standardized tests
- Teaches second languages skills
SITES & OPTIONS
Wolf Springs Elementary
Blue Valley Schools’ inaugural language immersion program began in the 2017-18 school year at Wolf Springs elementary. The school will welcome its third incoming kindergarten immersion class in August 2019. Up to one-half of immersion students at Wolf Springs come from the Blue Valley Southwest attendance area.
Valley Park Elementary
Valley Park Elementary is the district’s second Chinese Immersion program site. The school will welcome its second incoming kindergarten immersion class in August 2019. Up to one-half of immersion students at Valley Park Elementary come from the Blue Valley North attendance area.
Who can participate in the immersion program?
Blue Valley's Chinese immersion program begins in kindergarten. Students must be five years old by Aug. 31 to be eligible for the program per state of Kansas regulations. Students cannot be current kindergarten students. Students in the Blue Valley North and Blue Valley Northwest attendance areas are encouraged to attend the Valley Park immersion location, while students in the Blue Valley Southwest, Blue Valley High and Blue Valley West attendance areas are encouraged to attend the Wolf Springs location. Up to one-half of immersion student spots at Wolf Springs are reserved for students coming from the Blue Valley Southwest attendance area and up to one-half of the spots at Valley Park are reserved for students coming from the Blue Valley North attendance area. Transportation will not be provided to students who transfer to the school to participate in the immersion program.
Heritage speakers can enroll but will be treated equally with no preference provided. Preference will be given to siblings of current immersion students. Students with special needs are also welcome to enroll. The IEP team along with other district administrators will work with the family to determine if participation in an immersion program best meets each individual student's needs.
How do I apply for my child to participate in the immersion program?
An online application is typically available mid-February through mid-March. Participation in the program is determined by a lottery system, with 50 percent of program spots reserved for students in the Blue Valley Southwest and Blue Valley North attendance areas.
If my child does not participate in immersion, will he/she still receive Global Language education?
Students who do not participate in the immersion program will attend Spanish class like all other district elementary schools.
Do I have to be a Blue Valley Resident to apply for the immersion program?
Yes. Blue Valley Schools asks all families enrolling for the first time to provide proof of residency (a purchase contract/lease or utility bill). Families selected to participate in the Chinese Immersion program during the 2019-20 school year will be asked to provide documentation to the school on or before April 4, 2019.
For more answers check out our
frequently asked questions.