Dual Immersion Program


Welcome to the Salt Creek Dual Immersion Page!  We value diversity, biculturalism and bilingualism, at our school, and we are proud to have a fantastic Spanish Dual Immersion Program.  About 30% of our students are enrolled in our Dual Immersion Program, and we use the 90/10 model of instruction.  Twenty one schools in the Chula Vista Elementary School District have Spanish Dual Immersion Programs, and we are proud to be one of them!  Here are some frequently asked questions:

How do I enroll?

  • The best time to enroll your child is in Kindergarten.  When you register, please let office staff know that you are interested in the Dual Immersion Program and that you wish to participate in the lottery.  Due to the popularity of this program and limited space, we select participants using a lottery system. Any students who do not get selected are put on a Waiting List.  If you are enrolling your child in a grade other than Kindergarten, please make an appointment with the principal to discuss criteria for entering the program in first grade and up.

How does the lottery work?  How many Kindergarten classes do you open?

  • The number of spaces available depends on the amount of interest in the Dual Immersion Kindergarten program.  The number of Kindergarten classes we open depends on the number of families interested in the program AND the number of English Learners that are native Spanish speakers are interested in the program.  The Dual Immersion Guiding Principles outline that a minimum of 30% of students in a classroom must be Spanish speaking models for the program to be successful.  Students learning Spanish need to have Spanish speaking peers to learn from and interact with.  The sooner the school can determine the interest, the sooner we can determine if we will open up one, two, or three classrooms.  Families are highly encouraged to register for Kindergarten on the first day of registration and indicate their interest in Dual Immersion.

What about siblings?  I hear that once my child is in the program that siblings are guaranteed entrance into the program when they enter kindergarten and do not have to go through the lottery.

  • For RESIDENT families, this is correct!  If Salt Creek is your home school, then once you have one child in the Dual Immersion Program, than upcoming siblings ARE placed in program automatically as long as there is space.  We want to keep families that are committed to the program together in the same program, so this is good news.  Siblings of students on a previously approved Zone Transfer, however, are not guaranteed placement.  Since we are an impacted school, ZT’s are no longer being approved unless there is space after all of our resident students have been placed.  It is the intent of the District to keep siblings together, and we make every effort to notify parents of this before the end of the school year.    Siblings of current students on ZT’s are the priority over ZT’s that have no siblings attending Salt Creek. (Board Policy and AR 5117).

How does the Waiting List work? 

  • Students are placed on a Waiting List based lottery as well, however, throughout the year your number on the Waiting List MAY change because siblings of currently enrolled Dual Immersion students take priority, as do students who move into our residence who were previously enrolled in a Dual Immersion program.  Again, the priority is to keep siblings together in the same program, and for students moving into our area who have been in a Dual Immersion program elsewhere, we want to keep their language of instruction consistent.  Some families also express that they no longer want to be on the Waiting List and wish to have their name removed.  For these reasons, we cannot guarantee that the sequence of the Waiting List will remain constant.  We thank you all for your understanding on this.

How long can someone stay on the Waiting List?

  • It is difficult to predict when there will be an opening in any of our Dual Immersion classrooms.  A family would have to move for a spot to become vacant, and this can happen any time during the school year, or it may not happen at all.  If your child is on the Waiting List in Kindergarten, he/she can enter the program at any time during the school year without meeting any criteria if a spot becomes vacant.  If your child is on the Waiting List as in the latter part of 1st grade and up, he/she must take a bilingual assessment to qualify to enter the program.  This assessment tests both English and Spanish reading and writing skills.  We want to ensure that your child is ready to meet the rigor of the program at such a late entry point.  We will not allow a child to enter a program where he/she does not meet the criteria to be successful.  Names on the Waiting List are rolled over each school year.

Does the program continue K-6th grade?  How much Spanish/English is taught in the classroom?

  • Yes, the program is K-6th, and once your child is in the program, they automatically continue up the grades.  In Kindergarten and 1st grade 90% of the instruction is in Spanish and 10% is in English.  In 2nd grade 80% is in Spanish and 20% English.  In 3rd grade 70% is in Spanish and 30% is in English.  In 4th grade 60% is in Spanish and 40% is in English.  In 5th and 6th grade instruction is 50% Spanish and 50% English.  In the primary grades the focus is on immersing your child in the target language (Spanish), but strong English Language Foundations Skills are taught during the English component of the program in every grade.

What strategies do the teachers use?  Are they specially trained?

  • Our Dual Immersion teachers are highly qualified and hold the BCLAD (Bilingual, Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development) specialization.  They use strategies for second language acquisition such as heavy use of visual and pictorial support, realia, Total Physical Response (TPR), explicit vocabulary instruction, sentence frames, student talk, and GLAD strategies such as chants and input charts.

To read more about Dual Immersion Programs, please visit these websites:

CVESD Dual Immersion Language Program Page

Center for Applied Linguistics: Two-Way Immersion web page

If you would like to take learn more about our Dual Immersion Program, please make an appointment to speak with the school principal, Mrs. Perez, or the Associate Principal, Mrs. Vasquez.


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