Elementary school Spanish Immersion pilot one of a kind

Fox Chapel Area School District  |  Posted on

The Fox Chapel Area School District will host a new Spanish Immersion pilot program for 2019-20 first-graders at Kerr Elementary School. The program, which will be open to current kindergartners from all four elementary schools in the district, will be limited to 25 students. Each school will receive a number of spaces in a random selection based on a ratio of the number of students enrolled in each building. Students who do not currently attend Kerr will be bused to the school.  Eighty to 100% of the instruction will be provided in Spanish. Special classes, such as art and music, will be in English, as will lunch and recess.

The Spanish Immersion program is one of a kind, said Ashley Constantine, Ed.D., Fox Chapel Area’s executive director of elementary education and instruction. “We wanted to offer a program that was completely unique to Western Pennsylvania that would give our students an edge academically,” Dr. Constantine said. “The goals of the Spanish Immersion program are to promote high levels of academic achievement, to develop age-appropriate language acquisition in both English and Spanish, and to cultivate cross-cultural competencies in our students.”

The inaugural class will be taught by Alexis Bergau, who currently teaches second grade at Kerr. The plan is that once the first-graders enrolled in the initial Spanish Immersion class become second-graders, a new first-grade class will begin. Eventually, the program will be first grade through fifth grade.

To be eligible for admission into the Spanish Immersion program, students must meet Fox Chapel Area’s readiness criteria. English also must be the primary language spoken in the student’s home. Learn more at si.fcasd.edu.