Desert Willow students show off their school for Spain - AZEdNews
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Desert Willow students show off their school for Spain


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  • Cristina Ladas   |   Cave Creek Unified School District

Desert Willow Students Take Visitors Through Spanish Immersion Classrooms During The Embassy Of Spain Tour Day. Visitors Here Were From Kyrene, Laveen, Higley And Phoenix School Districts. Photo Courtesy Of Cave Creek Unified School District

During a recent visit from the Embassy of Spain’s Regional Representative, Desert Willow students gave groups of educators tours through the Spanish Immersion PreK-6th grade Program.

In order to maintain the Cave Creek Unified school’s accreditation from Spain as an International Spanish Academy (ISA), an Embassy of Spain representative must visit annually  to ensure the quality of the program. 

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The CCUSD93 Superintendent Dr. Burdick welcomed Embassy of Spain’s Regional Representative, Sra. Mariola Sanchez Cascon to Desert Willow Elementary School. Photo courtesy Cave Creek Unified School District

Desert Willow Elementary School (DWES) is in its 17th year of implementing the Spanish Immersion program and has generated quite a following with a lottery system for entry and ensuring waiting lists.

In addition to hosting the Embassy of Spain’s Regional Representative Sra. Mariola Sanchez that day, other educators from Arizona Department of Education and neighboring school districts attended in attempts to see a fully implemented program in action. 

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DWES Principal Staci Wiese presented the DWES Spanish Immersion model to a room full of educators from across the Phoenix metropolitan area. Photo courtesy Cave Creek Unified School District

Students in the Spanish Immersion program spend 50% of their day learning in Spanish with a Spanish teacher and 50% in English with an English teacher.

The result? A bilingual and biliterate student that exemplifies multicultural understanding and has a deeper sense of who they are in the world. 

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This model of a cell made by a student (labeled in Spanish) was just one example of project-based learning approach used in this innovative educational model. Photo courtesy of Cave Creek Unified School District

If you missed the Lottery meeting at DWES for the August 2020 Kindergarten class on January 30 from 5:00-6:00, there are other newer language immersion schools in Cave Creek School District.

There is a French Immersion program at Desert Sun Academy with its Lottery meeting on February 5 and a Chinese Immersion Lottery meeting at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School on February 6, both from 5:00-6:00. Or call 480-575-2000 for more information.  

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Desert Willow students take visitors through Spanish Immersion classrooms during the Embassy of Spain tour day. Visitors here were from Kyrene, Laveen, Higley and Phoenix school districts. Photo courtesy of Cave Creek Unified School District