Escondido School hosts the elementary grade classes of the Palo Alto Unified School District’s Spanish Immersion (SI) Program. There are two classes of Spanish Immersion students per grade level. Places are awarded by lottery. All applicants must be registered in the PAUSD. Siblings of currently-enrolled students have priority, but must still apply.
A two-way immersion program brings together native speakers of a minority “target” language, in this case Spanish, with native speakers of the majority language, in this case English, in the same classroom. Both groups of students develop fluency and literacy in both languages. The early grades are taught mostly in Spanish. The amount of English-language instruction increases as the children progress through the grades. English-language instruction typically reaches 50 percent by fifth grade.
The district’s first Spanish Immersion kindergarten class started in September 1995. The program moved to Escondido School in the fall of 1997.