The BUSD Dual Immersion program is grounded in research and designed by experienced and knowledgeable staff for students to develop bilingual/biliterate skills in English and Spanish while attaining grade level standards as well as 21st century skills. Through continuous reflection, refinement, and collaboration with the dual language community, the program strives to meet the goal of bilingualism, biliteracy, and cross-culture competencies.
The BUSD offers the Dual Immersion Program at Washington Elementary and the Intensive Learning Center (ILC). For further information on the program at Washington, please contact Dr. Angelica Montelongo at 562-804-6536. For more information on the DI program offered at ILC, please contact Ms. Beverly Swanson at 562-804-6513.
Kindergarten Dual Immersion Enrollment Information for 2021-2022
Applications will be accepted online February 8 - February 19, 2021.
Dual Immersion Program Kindergarten Enrollment is NOT first come, first serve and will be based on a random selection process. There is no need for parents to try to be at the “front of the line” or submit their application first.
Spanish Dual Immersion - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Spanish Dual Immersion (DI)? What does the language instructional model look like?
Spanish Dual Immersion (DI) is a program in which students are taught literacy and content in English and in Spanish.
The Spanish DI program is an option for parents who want their children to become bilingual and biliterate in Spanish and English; providing the opportunity for students to fluently speak two languages as well as read and write proficiently in two languages.
The language instructional model at both elementary schools begins with a 90:10 model meaning that students begin the program with 90% of their instruction in Spanish and 10% in English. The amount of Spanish instruction decreases after first grade as English increases until there is a 50:50 balance of instruction in Spanish and English as seen in the following:
- Preschool: 90:10
- Kindergarten/First grade: 90:10
- Second grade: 80:20
- Third grade: 70:30
- Fourth grade: 60:40
- Fifth/Sixth grades: 50:50
The ideal student composition for a dual immersion classroom is 33% English-only students, 33% native Spanish speakers, and 33% bilingual students.
Where is the program offered?
The Bellflower Unified School District (‘District’) offers a Spanish DI program at both the Intensive Learning Center (ILC) and Washington Elementary School. ILC operates a DI program in grades preschool through sixth grade, while Washington Elementary currently provides a DI program in grades preschool through second grade in the 2019-20 school year. Washington Elementary will continue to develop the DI program through sixth grade by adding a grade level each year through the 2023-24 school year.
How do I enroll my child into the Dual Immersion program at either ILC or Washington?
Do I have to start my child in the DI program in Kindergarten?
The District accepts students into the DI program in kindergarten. There are a small number of students who have moved into the District and transferred into the program after kindergarten. We can accept students into the program after kindergarten if space is available and if the student has been previously enrolled in a Spanish DI program or if the student is bilingual but has not previously enrolled in a DI program. The District requires students be assessed for Spanish language proficiency before acceptance to the program.
Is there a Spanish DI program for students in preschool?
Yes, the District operates a State preschool program open to qualifying students ages 3 and 4 at both Whitewood ILC Preschool and Washington Preschool. A Spanish DI preschool program is available to qualifying students at both schools. The State preschool program is run through our Early Childhood Education Office (9301 Flower St., Bellflower, CA 90706).
Once my child is enrolled in the program, how will I support my child if I don’t speak Spanish?
The District has many DI families that do not speak Spanish at home. Please speak with your child’s teacher to better understand parent resources and allow them the opportunity to assist you and your child.
What are the benefits of the DI program?
Research studies highlight many benefits for gaining proficiency in two languages, including:
- Students are able to appreciate other cultures and to view differences in culture and language as a positive learning experience
- Immediate benefits include increased academic performance in reading, math, and other subjects, including higher scores on college readiness exams, such as the SAT and ACT, in high school
- Bilingual and biliterate adults have more job opportunities than monolingual adults
Do DI students learn the same state standards as students in non-DI classes?
Yes, the state standards and grade-level expectations are the same for all students in the Bellflower Unified School District. The only difference is the language of instruction. DI teachers hold bilingual authorizations to instruct in Spanish and English and are trained to support the students’ transfer of skills between the two languages.
Does the DI program continue after elementary school into middle school?
Students who attend the DI program have the opportunity to enroll in two Spanish language classes in grades seven and eight: a History-Social Studies class taught in Spanish as well as a Spanish language class. Therefore, 33% of their classes and total classroom instruction will be provided in Spanish.
The District provides the opportunity for DI students to complete additional Spanish language courses, including Advanced Placement courses, while in high school with the ultimate goal being for students to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy upon high school graduation.
What if my child struggles academically in the DI program?
The goal is for your child to find academic success while having the benefit of learning a second language. As children are developing, there are instances where a child may struggle academically. The teachers and school staff are trained to evaluate and provide academic interventions to support your child in being successful. However, there are times when a child may not respond to appropriate interventions and reassignment to a non-DI class is recommended by the school team.