International Spanish Academy (ISA)
Obtain written and oral proficiency in both languages
Educate students in the values of multicultural education
Promote the academic success of students in all areas of the curriculum
Prepare all students for global college and career
K-12 World Language Developer
What is ISA?
The International Spanish Academy is recognized by the Ministry of Education of Spain. The Ministry makes resources and programs available to ISA schools throughout the world. The ISA Program offers an integrated curriculum to prepare the students to participate in international university programs and offers several opportunities for students to earn the Seal of Biliteracy.
The ISA Program in the Bellevue School District is a one-way 90/10 dual language immersion program. Students in elementary school spend 90% of their school day in Spanish with one hour of instruction in English. In middle school students are offered two classes in Spanish, a social studies class and a Spanish language arts class. In high school students are offered a rigorous sequence of language and literature courses culminating in the DELE B2 language exam in 12th grade.
A continuous sequence of study is the best way for the students to become bilingual and biliterate. It is expected that once enrolled, all students will follow a continuous, uninterrupted sequence of study throughout their K-12 experience in the Bellevue School District. The program is currently housed at the following schools:
- Puesta del Sol Elementary (K-5)
- Tillicum Middle School (6-8)
- Newport High School (9-12)
- Sammamish High School (9-12)
The goal is to have students eventually reach an advanced level on the A.C.T.F.L Proficiency Scale by high school graduation. This takes approximately 12 years of study for most students. It is also expected that the students will have mastered the specified district curriculum taught in this program.
Is Puesta del Sol required?
Attending Puesta del Sol is not a requirement for an ISA diploma. Students who do not attend Puesta del Sol may enter the ISA Program in 6th Grade at Tillicum. However, students who did not attend Puesta del Sol must first pass a proficiency test at the beginning of 6th grade.
It may be possible to open enroll to Tillicum if it is not your home school. Entry into the program must be approved by the building administrator. Building enrollment, class sizes and program capacity will be used to determine if space is available for entry.
Students who attend Puesta del Sol Elementary are encouraged to continue the ISA Program at Tillicum Middle School. All Puesta del Sol students are guaranteed placement at Tillicum regardless of home school.
What is required for an ISA diploma?
Students must successfully complete the following in order to receive an ISA diploma.
- Honors 6th Grade Social Studies in Spanish; AND
- 6th Grade Spanish Language, Literature and Culture
- Honors 7th Grade Social Studies in Spanish; AND
- 7th Grade Spanish Language, Literature and Culture
- Honors 8th Grade Social Studies in Spanish; AND
- 8th Grade Spanish Language, Literature and Culture
- AP Spanish Language and Culture
- Honors Hispanic Studies
- AP Spanish Literature
- Honors 12th Grade ISA
In certain circumstances, a student may take Spanish 4 in 9th grade (based upon proficiency) and still earn the ISA Diploma by doubling up on ISA Program classes in a future year. In those cases, the recommended option is to take both AP Spanish Language and Culture and Honors Hispanic Studies in the 10th grade year.
Success on Two or More Testing Options
- Intermediate High on the STAMP4S Assessment
(taken in-class during 8th grade)
- AP Spanish Language and Culture (3+)
(taken in spring of 9th grade)
- AP Spanish Literature (3+)
(taken in spring of 11th grade)
- DELE B2 (Pass)
(taken in mid-winter of 12th grade)
Students who do not qualify for the ISA diploma may still qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy and College Credit(s).
What are the benefits?
Students who complete the ISA Program often see the following benefits:
- More powerful brains with better cognitive development; see more at The Benefits of Bilingualism
- Competitive advantage in the global economy
- Cultural appreciation
- Students learn to effectively express themselves in Spanish both conversationally and in an academic setting. Many students will qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy
- Access to double academic certification for high school graduates completing a full ISA program (see more at DELE diplomas) as well as high school and college credits through AP coursework
What are families saying about ISA?
“Given the opportunity again, we would enroll our children in ISA in a heartbeat.“
“My children and I enjoyed strong comradery and community.”
“Spanish Immersion teachers are excited to share their language and culture with students.”
“Spanish Immersion inspired our family to explore and learn about the world.“
How do I withdraw or re-enter the program?
We recognized that a student may want to opt-out or take a leave from the program and then wish to re-enter the program. Although this is not advisable, a student will be allowed to re-enter given adherence to the following guidelines and conditions:
- Re-entry will require the student to be newly assessed for Spanish language ability. The assessment will be conducted by the school in which the re-entering student is to be enrolled. The results of this initial re-entry assessment will provide a success prediction for the student. Informed decisions about the student’s continuance in the program can be made as a result of this prediction.
- Re-entry into the program must be approved by the building administrator. Building enrollment, class sizes and program capacity will be used to determine if space is available for program re-entry.
- Because Newport High School is a “closed” school and the program is limited to one period of the day, certain restrictions apply to re-entry at this level for students who do not reside within the Newport High School attendance area. If a student wishes to re-enter the program at the high school level (Gr. 9-12) and the student lives outside the Newport High School attendance area, he/she may only enroll for the one ISA class and must enroll at another high school for the remainder of the day.
- Students who do not reside within the boundaries of the Bellevue School District will only be considered for entry on a space-available basis. All of the above conditions also apply.
- Due to the Kindergarten and first grade waiting list at Puesta del Sol, students that move out of district when taking leave during kindergarten and first grade will not return to the Puesta del Sol Program. Spaces will be filled by the next available name on the wait-list.