Thursday, April 16, 2009


Today was a big day for us. It was kindergarten roundup—Wow!— which meant a two-hour visit to Sofia's new school: The Barnes School. Our little girl is old enough for Kindergarten. When did that happen?!?!? I'm excited for her to go and sad all at the same time. I'm going to miss her dearly. We have a lot of fun together and we cherish the many special moments and memories we've shared at home. We are so excited for her to start school because we know how much she will enjoy it and that she will thrive.

Education is very important to us. So important that we researched many public and private school options in the Portland Metro area, went on tours, and alas found the one we have the utmost confidence in, which includes a two-way immersion program model that has the research to back its' potential and planned success. Our little Sofia was born just about five years ago. Seriously it blew our minds when we realized we had reached the point in our lives where we packed up and moved, all so that our daughter could attend a school of our choice with the best educational opportunities.

Sofia was enthralled by her surroundings the minute she stepped foot into her new school. She headed straight for the library and oo-ed and aw-ed over the countless books. She loved the playground and was very encouraged when she learned that she would get 3-15 minute recesses. So nice to know that our 5-year old has her priorities straight—a normal child—what more could we ask for?!?!? We toured the kindergarten classrooms where she got to make a bear cut out into a hat. She loved coloring it and insisted it was a girl bear. A ride on the school bus was the hit of the night. She'll only be riding the school bus for field trips because we live out of the elementary boundaries, which means I'll be driving her every day. She wasn't worried...just excited that she could roam the library or play outside IF she gets to school early enough (that's what the person told her during the bus ride). I have my doubts. :)

Sofia will be in a two-way immersion program where all of her subjects including reading, writing, math, and science will be taught 90% of her day in Spanish, and 10% of her day will be taught in English. As she progresses through elementary the immersion program changes as follows:

Kindergarten: 90% Spanish, 10% English;
1st grade: 80% Spanish, 20% English;
2nd grade: 70% Spanish, 30% English;
3rd grade: 60% Spanish, 40% English;
and 4th-5th grades: 50% Spanish, 50% English.


Daisy said...

Wow, time flies! So, the dual immersion program begins in 1st grade, right? They've started one at the school I teach at and I'm hoping Marcela can do the same. I'm also considering teaching in the program. I'll be interested to see how things go. :)

Stormy said...

Hi Daisy,

It actually begins in Kindergarten not 1st grade. It's nice to hear that a school district is finally getting on board in Utah! It always bothered me that there was ONE option (in SLC) for Spanish immersion pre-school but you had to be four....and no sign of anything in the public school system.

Portland has 5 public school districts alone that offer Chinese, Russian, French, Japanese, and Spanish immersion. The program Sofia is going to was started in the 94-95 school year. They have some serious years of experience. Our current school district alone has three elementary schools with two-way immersion programs. Plus there are many private school immersion programs. Ours is a public school program. Sofia has also been in a private Spanish immersion preschool called Amiguitos since we moved here. She loves it. Whenever we talk about the alphabet she'll say her letters in English and Spanish.

Needless to say we're really excited. I can't wait to help out in the classroom!


Lindy said...

Storm, I can't believe she's starting kindergarten! Even more than that, I can't believe Ame has to go to yet another year of preschool! Sofia is so independent and grown up (probably a little too much in her own mind. :). Thanks for blogging again...I've missed you. We should talk sometime!