Spanish Immersion

Eastern Carver County Schools offers a two-way dual language Spanish immersion program for learners starting in kindergarten through high school. Our goal is for learners to become biliterate and bilingual with learners who may qualify to earn a Seal of Biliteracy and college credit by high school graduation.

Elementary Immersion Experience

La Academia is a two-way dual language immersion school. 

  • Classes are made up of ⅓ Native Spanish Speakers and ⅓ Native English Speakers and the last ⅓ any other language.
  • Classes are taught in the target language with bridging for biliteracy in each class.
  • Students begin Kindergarten immersed in Spanish language instruction for 90% of their school day. By Grade 5, the student day is half English and half Spanish.
  • Our goal is for learners to become biliterate, bilingual and to perform at or above their grade-level peers on standardized assessments.
  • By high school graduation, learners may qualify to earn a Seal of Biliteracy and college credit.

Middle School Immersion Experience

The dual language program continues at Chaska Middle School West under the name Estrellas Sirius and helps students become biliterate, bilingual and culturally competent.

All students from La Academia moving to Chaska Middle School West automatically enroll in Estrellas Sirius and will take:

  • Communication Arts (Spanish Immersion 1, 2, and 3) for high school elective credit each year
  • One Core Content Area: Currently in the social sciences
    • 6th: U.S. History
    • 7th: Civics
    • 8th: Global Studies

Sample High School Immersion Schedule/ Ejemplo del Programa de Inmersión en Escuela

HS immersion sample

High School Immersion Experience

The high school immersion program is an extension from Middle School Spanish Immersion courses focusing on four modalities: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking through a replacement class for a core content. This class has the same standards as regular core content with Spanish as the target language.

Students who attend La Academia will attend Chanhassen High School. This means that 8th grade students who attended La Academia for elementary school, and who move on to the middle school dual immersion program at Chaska Middle School West, will be automatically enrolled to Chanhassen High School. However, if your student’s home address is in the Chaska High School attendance boundary, you have the option to enroll him/her in Chaska High School rather than Chanhassen High School. In this case, parents must notify the Welcome Center at the District Education Center no later than January 15 of their student’s 8th grade year.

At Chanhassen High School, students will continue to grow in their Spanish comprehension by focusing on the four modalities: reading, writing, listening and speaking. 

Each year, students can register for a Spanish-language course and a content-area course offered in Spanish. These content-area courses cover the same standards as the English-language version and count towards graduation requirements.  As with other high school courses, immersion courses will be staffed based on the number of student registrations received the previous spring.

In 10th grade, students have the opportunity of taking the STAMP assessment to see if they are eligible for the Bilingual Seal.

9th Grade students can register for one or both of the immersion courses:

  • Spanish Immersion 4
  • World History

10th Grade students can register based on teacher recommendation for:

  • Spanish Immersion 5
  • US History

As they move on to 11th and 12th grade, students will register based on teacher recommendation for:

  • AP Spanish Literature
  • Core content in Spanish

Bilingual Seal Program

The Bilingual Seal Program provides acknowledgement and confirmation that a student is proficient in English and one other language. Depending on the level of proficiency demonstrated, students can earn a World Language Proficiency Certificate, a Bilingual Gold Seal, or a Bilingual Platinum Seal. This award goes on the student transcript as evidence of the student’s bilingualism. 

Schools in the Minnesota State College and University system award college credit to a student based on the award they have received. Because the Bilingual Seal is a national program, colleges and universities in other states may also award credits; students will need to check with specific universities. 

Above and beyond earning college credit, The Bilingual Seal Program celebrates multilingualism as an end in and of itself. Eastern Carver County Schools (ECCS) encourages all students to develop proficiency in multiple languages as a way to understand the world, be a responsible citizen of the United States, and open up multiple career opportunities.

Learn more about the how our students can earn the bilingual seal.


Elementary Immersion
Gretchen Kleinsasser, Principal
Middle & High School Immersion
Dan Cahill, Teaching and Learning