Eastern Carver County Schools’ immersion education continues at Chaska Middle School West. It starts at La Academia, the district’s immersion school for grades K-5. These biliterate English and Spanish speakers take the 6th grade Communication Arts course called Spanish Immersion 1, and a U.S. History course in Spanish. In 7th grade, they have Spanish Immersion 2 and a Civics course taught in Spanish. In 8th grade, they have Spanish Immersion 3 and Modern Global Studies taught in Spanish. Learners continue to develop language proficiency in Spanish and will be provided with opportunities to explore various cultural connections. The course content and standards in these subjects are similar to English-only middle school classes.
The program at Chaska Middle School West, named Estrellas Sirius, is uniquely designed as a continuation of the two-way, dual-language immersion at La Academia. When students enter the high school program they can continue to take an array of advanced Spanish classes, some of which can earn them college credit. Enrollment exceptions may be made for native Spanish speakers or students who have completed an elementary immersion program. Spanish Language Proficiency Assessment is required before acceptance in middle school immersion classes.
La Academia’s two-way, dual-language model is the preferred way to learn a second language. It combines native English- and native Spanish-speakers who learn from each other as well as through teacher instruction.