Fostering a thriving community through bilingualism, biliteracy and intercultural competence
The Spanish Dual Immersion Program in Bend-La Pine Schools is a research-based two-way immersion program model. The program begins in kindergarten, and continues through high school graduation. Students learn to understand, speak, read and write fluently in both English and Spanish. These bilingual skills are shown to increase critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving. In a class balanced with both native English and Spanish speakers, children learn their regular school subjects through both languages, and often outperform their monolingual peers in both languages over time. Spanish Dual Immersion students also develop strong intercultural competence skills as a result of this enriching educational model.
The best way to develop biliteracy is to begin early. Our program is structured to enrich Spanish-speaking children's heritage language while they acquire English. English-speaking children acquire Spanish fluency, at no cost to their native English language or academic success. Our program follows an "80/20" delivery model:
| Elementary School
Bend-La Pine Schools' Spanish Dual Immersion is a K-12 program-when students leave elementary school, they continue to strengthen their Spanish and English skills through graduation. In the secondary stage, half of student's core courses are delivered entirely in Spanish, and half in English. For example, in 6th grade, our students take language arts and social studies courses in Spanish, while math and science courses are delivered in English.
Bend-La Pine Schools offers the K-12 Dual Immersion Program as a strand within each host school. Bear Creek Elementary and High Desert Middle School house the elementary and middle school stages of the program; the high schools will be divided with Caldera High School housing incoming 9th and 10th grade and Bend Senior High School housing 11th and 12th grade.
Each spring, incoming kindergarten applicants participate in a lottery. If there are more applicants than spaces available, a wait list is created. Families who wish to enter after the kindergarten lottery must have prior Spanish experience - a late-entry process will be conducted to determine appropriate placement in the program. Applications are available at each host school, and on the district website.
Incoming Kindergarten Lottery Form (Lottery opens January 3, 2022):
Late Entry Application Form (Open year round):
"In Bend-La Pine Schools, we want every student to be embraced by a learning community that knows them and wraps them in a culture of felt safety. Bear Creek Elementary School nurtures this culture and develops biliterate and bilingual students to better enter and impact the greater global community."
Dr. Steven Cook, Superintendent
The State of Oregon offers a Seal of Biliteracy to high school graduates who demonstrate advanced oral fluency and academic achievement in two languages. Obtaining this recognition on a diploma is a rigorous process, and is recognized by employers and universities around the state. Bend-La Pine Schools' Dual Immersion Program offers a local pathway to support our students who wish to pursue this special honor.