The Manheim Township Spanish Immersion Program is a district program housed at the Nitrauer Elementary School grades 1 through 4 that began in 1994-1995. Students from each of our six elementary schools attend this voluntary program. In our program, students are immersed in Spanish while they learn the same Manheim Township curriculum based on the Pennsylvania Standards. Students learn Reading, Writing, Spelling, Mathematics, Science, Health, and Social Studies in Spanish. In grades 1 and 2, students are instructed totally in Spanish. In grades 3, 4, the children receive 45 -60 minutes of instruction in English Reading, Writing, and Spelling. In grades 1-4, Art, Physical Education, Music, and Library Instruction are in English.
The Spanish Immersion program continues in grades 5 & 6 at the Landis Run Intermediate building. Immersion students in grades 5 & 6 have homeroom, WIN, Social Studies and Science in Spanish daily. Writing and reading activities (literacy) are in both Spanish and English.
At the Middle School in grades 7 and 8, students have one period of Spanish daily that focuses on academic language preparation, with speaking , listening, writing, and reading at a high level of proficiency (ACTFL).
In grades 9-12, Spanish is an elective for all immersion students.
Parental Commitment Form
Spanish Immersion Report
The first Spanish Immersion students graduated from high school in 2008. This study looks at what impact the Spanish Immersion Program has had on the students and the district.
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition has many useful links on immersion education. There are online resources for teachers and parents of immersion students. There is also a link to a listserv dealing with immersion education. This organization publishes the ACIE Newsletter three times a year that has many useful articles dealing with curriculum and instruction in immersion education.
Center for Applied Linguistics
The Center for Applied Linguistics has a database of immersion schools as well as some articles of interest to immersion parents and teachers.
For more information, please contact Dr. Katelyn Barlet, ESL/World Languages/Spanish Immersion Supervisor (717-735-1526).
Spanish Immersion Guidelines
- Children must meet Manheim Township SD readiness criteria to enter the Spanish Immersion lottery. Children must meet Manheim Township SD age requirements for first grade. (School Board Policy # 201: Admission of Students).
- NOTE: Parents of students NOT enrolled in a MTSD kindergarten class must make arrangements for their children to be assessed by district personnel. The assessments must be completed during the designated testing window.
- Parents must complete the registration online during the registration window.
- Each child may be entered once in the MTSD Immersion lottery.
- We strongly encourage all interested parents to attend the program information session and visit an Immersion class during the visitation window outlined on the timeline.
* Please refer to the 2017-2018 Spanish Immersion Timeline for specific dates for this school year.
- The Immersion option is a district program. All buildings will have the opportunity to be represented in each class.
- Each school receives a number of spaces in the lottery based on a ration of the number of students enrolled in their building for first grade and the total enrollment district-wide.
- For example: If 400 students register for the district’s first grade program and 50 of these registrants are from Brecht, 3 (or 1/8) of the 25 Immersion spaces are designated for Brecht in the lottery drawing.
- The student’s current legal residence will determine their elementary attendance area for the pre-determined lottery spaces based on the lottery registration deadline.
- The goal is to begin and maintain 25 students in the class through the first grade year.
- If the class size is less than 25 after all schools have had their pre-determined number of names drawn, all remaining names will be combined for a drawing until a total of 25 students have been drawn.
- Twins (triplets, etc.) will be listed on one lottery ticket. However, if that ticket is drawn, all names listed will be admitted to the Immersion program.
- For example: If Brecht has 3 pre-determined spaces and twins are selected, they will count as 2 of the three spaces. If twins are selected on the third pick, we will extend to four spaces from Brecht.
- If we have “extra” spaces because all buildings did not use their pre-determined amount, we will combine all remaining names for the final drawing. If twins are selected on the 20th pick, they will account for spaces 20 and 21 and the lottery will stop at 25. If twins are selected on the 25th pick, the class size will increase beyond 25.
- Names not picked for the Immersion class are then selected to create a waiting list in the order they are drawn. Beginning in 2014, children with siblings already in the Immersion program DO NOT receive preference on the waiting list.
- All participants will be notified of their position in the selection process upon completion of the lottery.
- If an opening occurs in the new first grade class, the next student on the wait list will fill the opening.
- All children chosen to fill a vacancy through the end of the first semester of the first grade year must meet all of the first grade benchmarks.
- If a vacancy occurs after the start of the second semester in the first grade year, school personnel will decide if students should be added to the program based on their first grade benchmarks, current school performance, ability to adapt to change and language background.
- At the close of the first grade year, the waiting list is dissolved.
- In grades 2 through 6, students may be admitted to the Immersion program on a case-by-case basis.
- The decision will be made after the student’s portfolio consisting of formative and summative (MTSD end of year tests) assessments has been reviewed.
- For example: A student moving into the district from a partial/full Immersion program (delivered at least 80% of the time in the Spanish language) may be added to the MTSD program. Factors that may be considered are class size and composition of the current class.
- November 20-21, 2017: Informational brochures provided to interested parents of kindergarten students during Parent/Teacher Conferences; kindergarten teachers will discuss eligibility requirements
- March 5, 2018 (6:00pm): Parent Information Session held at the Nitrauer Elementary School Auditorium (interested parents are strongly encouraged to attend)
- March 9, 2018 (9:00am): Online Registration Opens
- April 13, 2018 (4:00pm): Online Registration Closes
- April 19-20, 2018 (by appointment): Spanish Immersion classroom visitation window for interested parents; please call the Nitrauer office (717-569-4239) by April 13, 2018 to schedule a visit
- April 19 (12:00pm-3:00pm) & April 20 (9:30am-12:30pm): Testing window for Kindergarten students enrolling from a private school (eligible students must be enrolled in the district prior to the lottery); please call the Nitrauer office (717-569-4239) by April 13, 2018 to schedule a testing appointment
- April 13- May 11, 2018: Currently enrolled students are screened by their Kindergarten teacher using the readiness criteria
- By May 25, 2018: Notification of eligibility for the Spanish Immersion lottery email will be sent to parents from the District Office
- June 1, 2018 (2:00 pm): Spanish Immersion Lottery, held at the District office (parents only)
Assessments will take place in May of kindergarten year.
- Benchmark in the English Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) as determined by the DIBELS website University of Oregon- DIBELS Next Recommended Benchmark Goals
- Proficient in First Sound Fluency Assessment (Greater than or equal to 52 as determined by the DIBELS assessment)
- Proficient in Letter Naming Fluency Assessment (Greater than or equal to 62 as determined by the DIBELS assessment)
- Proficient in Phoneme Segmentation Fluency Assessment (Greater than or equal to 51 as determined by the DIBELS assessment)
- Proficient in Nonsense Word Fluency Assessment (Greater than or equal to 44 correct letter sounds and 7 whole words read as determined by the DIBELS assessment)
- Proficient in reading English kindergarten sight words (Greater than or equal to 29 as determined by the end-of-year sight word assessment)
- Proficient in naming all uppercase letters as determined by the end-of-year letters/sounds assessment
- Proficient in naming all lowercase letters as determined by the end-of-year letters/sounds assessment
- Proficient in producing all letter sounds as determined by the end-of-year letters/sounds assessment
- Proficient in kindergarten math skills
- Math End of Year Test (70% or greater)
- Addition facts 1 to 5 timed in 1.5 minutes with 70% or greater
- Subtraction facts 1 to 5 timed in 1.5 minutes with 70% or greater (as of May 1)
- Proficient in reading readiness skills (See Spring Readiness Benchmarks)
Students must receive a “Yes” in all categories in order to qualify for the Spanish Immersion lottery.
Ways to Enrich Spanish Skills
- Designate a time for daily family reading and/or silent reading. Encourage your child to read something in Spanish as well as English.
- Invest in books that are written in Spanish (many are available with audio tapes or CD’s).
- Check out books and tapes at your local public library.
- For first grade, invest in a Spanish picture dictionary for your child. For second grade and up, invest in a good Spanish/English dictionary. Spanish/Spanish dictionaries are helpful at the intermediate grades and beyond.
- Read and discuss news articles that relate to Spanish-Speaking countries.
- Ask an older immersion student to read to your child in Spanish after school, or help your child with homework, mentor or baby sit younger children in Spanish.
- Ask your child to use Spanish writing skills to write to the Embassies or Offices of Tourism of Spanish speaking countries to plan an actual or pretend family vacation.
- Have your child correspond with a pen-pal throughout the summer or school year.
- Review the songs and poems that your child sings or recites at school. Your child can sing or recite the song or poem by memory or you can ask your child to teach you the song or poem.
- Routinely ask your child questions about what they learned in Spanish at school.
- If you travel to a Spanish-speaking country, let your child be the official translator.
- Check the local newspaper and other publications such as WITF Magazine, the Lancaster County Magazine, and La Voz Hispana for Latin American concerts, performances, and other cultural events.
- Have a classmate over for a “Spanish Evening” or “Spanish Night Over”. Visit a local Hispanic restaurant or market.
- Purchase children’s dvds and music in Spanish.
- Acquire Spanish programs for your computer.
- Watch the children’s programs on the Spanish Cable Channel.
- Change the language option on your television to watch Aurthur and other PBS shows in Spanish.
- If your child has an older sibling who speaks Spanish, allow them to choose a time of day that they will only use Spanish to communicate.
- Have a Spanish cooking night. Pick a Spanish-speaking country, find a traditional recipe, and cook with your child. Ask him/her to name the ingredients in Spanish.
- Praise any efforts your child makes to speak Spanish.
- Discuss with your child the benefits of learning another language. (See Immersion FAQ page.)
- Ask your child why s/he thinks it is important to know additional languages.
- Discuss how a person becomes a proficient speaker of any language. (i.e. practice, making mistakes, listening to others use the language, talking, talking, talking!).