Frequently Asked Questions about El Velero
Q: I’d like my child to be a part of Spanish Immersion. How do I enroll?
A: El Velero Lottery 23/24 Dates:
The application process for the upcoming school year has begun. Applicants must enroll their child at the Bainbridge Island School District Website. Once a student is enrolled in the district, you must fill out the El Velero Lottery form.
The Lottery is held for Kindergarten only.
The waitlist from Kindergarten rolls over into 1st grade.
If you would like to add your child to the 1st grade waitlist - please register your child (if not already) and fill out a lottery form.
Interested in joining El Velero at 2,3, or 4th grade please contact Ordway Office Manager at (206) 780-1397. There is a Spanish language competency assessment.
Dates: Lottery Form and BISD registration are due no later than March 10 to qualify for the Lottery.
Lottery will be held on March 14 and families are notified by March 17.
Q: Does it cost extra to attend the Immersion Program?
A: This program is part of the public school system and is free to students.
Q: May I observe a class?
A: Information on class observations will be shared with families after the March 17th.
Q: Is there required parental involvement in the program? I would like to participate, but work during the day? Are there opportunities to help outside of class hours?
A: The Spanish Immersion program relies on parent volunteers. Four hours a month is suggested to support in-class learning, after school planning meetings, special events, and other volunteer opportunities.
Q: Can my child join the program at any grade level?
A: Kindergarten and 1st grade are the official entry points for the Spanish Immersion Program. If any space becomes available at higher grade levels, demonstrated proficiency in Spanish is required for acceptance into the program.
Q: Do I need to be in the BISD to enroll my child?
A: BISD options programs are open to families who reside on Bainbridge Island. Off-island applicants are considered only when there are no Bainbridge students on the waitlist.
Q: What will a typical day of learning look like for my child? Does the program have homework?
A: Please visit the individual teacher pages to take a closer look at which content areas are used at specific grades to develop student biliteracy and bilingualism.
Q: Does the program provide school transportation?
A: For students who live on an Ordway bus route, they can take their normal bus to school. For those who do not live on an Ordway route, parents will need to drop them off at school each day. School starts at 7:50am. In the afternoon, school is dismissed at 12:50pm on Mondays and 2:20pm Tuesday through Friday. Busing is provided to those on an Ordway bus route home and there are also some bus options to afterschool programs. Please contact the Ordway office directly for information regarding afterschool programs and transportation.
Q: Are there any other elementary language immersion programs within the Bainbridge Island School District?
A: The El Velero Spanish Immersion Program is the only elementary language immersion program within the Bainbridge Island School District.
Q: What happens to my child’s Spanish language learning after they complete 4th grade?
A: Currently, the program runs from Kindergarten through the 4th grade. Four classes are being offered at Ordway: Kindergarten, First, Second, a 3rd/4th multi-age class.
Q: My child already speaks Spanish at home. Why should I enroll them in this program?
A: Our mission is to build biliteracy skills in children. For children living in a bilingual home, El Velero offers the opportunity to gain and maintain academic skills in both English and Spanish. Reading and writing is taught beyond oral, listening, and comprehension skills. For English Language Learning we ensure they receive the extra support they might need as well as continue their home language fluency.