Spanish to English Ratio

grade_5_science.jpgJunior Kindergarten through 5th grade, all students receive 50% of instruction in English and 50% in Spanish. That percentage changes in the middle school, when the amount of English increases to 60% and Spanish decreases to 40%. In all classrooms, Amigos strives for a balance of students who are native English and native Spanish speakers. Integration of home speakers makes the class groups more heterogeneous. At the first through fifth grade level, students rotate between their English class and their Spanish class. Teachers and teacher assistants work in teams to differentiate instruction, oversee the pacing of the curricula and provide for a positive classroom learning environment.

  • All Kindergarten classrooms (both JK and K) are self-contained. The JK model allows for an easy transition on a daily basis between English in the morning, and Spanish in the afternoon. The two self-contained Kindergarten classrooms “switch” languages on Thursdays. This rotation allows for three days in the native language and two days in the non-native language.

  • Grades 1-3 rotate weekly between the Spanish language and the English language classrooms.

  • In Grades 4-5, teachers plan their days according to the specific needs of the group. This sometimes results in students’ exposure to both languages during a single day. For example, during an “English” week, students may switch classes in the afternoon for a Social Studies project, which is delivered in Spanish. By the fourth or fifth grade, students are able to negotiate the languages well enough to make these language adjustments.

  • Grades 6-8 follow a middle school “cluster model”. Basic subjects such as English, Language Arts, Social Studies, Spanish Language Arts, Science and Math are taught by a “cluster” of subject area teachers rather than grade level teachers. A critical advantage of the cluster model is that in middle school, students and teachers have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships over the course of the three years. In the middle school, class time varies between 45 minute blocks and 1 1/2 hour blocks to allow for in-depth, team teaching approaches. In the middle school, Spanish Language Arts and Social Studies are taught in Spanish; all other subjects are taught in English.