MPCSD World Language Program

  • Background on World Language in MPCSD

    Prior to the fall of 2008, there was no world language instruction available to the students at the elementary level, aside from PTO-sponsored after school programs. French or Spanish elective classes were available to Hillivew students beginning in 7th grade. On December 11, 2007, the Board of Education established new goals for world language instruction to begin at the elementary level. As a result, in the fall of 2008, the District initiated a world language instruction program to that provided Spanish instruction for all K-5 students District-wide; at the same time, the Board initiated a K-5 Spanish Immersion program. The K-5 world language program was suspended in 2009 due to funding and implementation issues, but the K-5 Spanish Immersion pilot continued. 


    In the fall of 2013, the District expanded its middle school world language program to begin in the 6th grade and restored French as an elective offering in addition to Spanish. Hillview students are now able to complete up to Spanish 2 or French 2 over the course of their three years at Hillview. Hillview also began an advanced “Spanish for Spanish Speakers” elective (also starting in 6th grade) to meet the demand created by the K-5 Immersion classes matriculating to the middle school. The Spanish for Spanish Speakers elective is also available to any native or advanced Spanish speaker not associated with the Immersion program. 


    In 2014, the Board of Education reasserted their commitment to world language for all at the elementary level through the approval of the Guiding Principles. Seed money was provided to the elementary schools and a partnership with the Stanford allowed site leadership teams to prototype and pilot innovative approaches to world language instruction for all for students in grades kindergarten through fifth. 


    Menlo Park City School District intends to expand the World Language for All programs at each of its elementary schools to ensure that parents and students can access one of three strands of world language prior to graduation from Hillview in eighth grade. The three strands are: Exploratory, Proficiency, and Fluency. 


    The 2015 adoption of the Guiding Principles also impacted the design of the existing Spanish Immersion (SI) program. Although the integrity of the program remains the same, the procedural changes include:


    1. Cancellation of sibling priority enrollment for those students enrolled after 2013-14 school year.
    2. Cancellation of the Spanish speaker lottery
    3. Move from district to site-based program management
    4. To create two K-5 SI Strands at Laurel School and Encinal School
    5. Commitment to school prior to enrolling in the Immersion program
    6. Site autonomy for program design and responsibility for meeting supply and demand needs of the school community


    For more information contact:

    Tami Girsky

    Curriculum Coordinator, World Language & Spanish Immersion

    650-321-7140 X5622

  • BBB