Frequently Asked Questions about El Velero
Q: I’d like my child to be a part of Spanish Immersion. How do I enroll?
A: The application process for the upcoming school year begins February 5th 2020. Applicants must enroll their child for school online at the Bainbridge Island School District Website. Once a student is enrolled at the district you must fill out a form for the El Velero Lottery. Please return this form to Ordway Elementary’s Administrative Office by March 2, 2020 for the 2020-2021 school year (Kindergarten Lottery for 20-21 school year has taken place. Class is currently full). Space will be assigned by lottery if there are more applicants than spaces. Priority is given to siblings of students already enrolled in the program and to native or heritage speakers of Spanish.
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: Yes, please contact Ordway Elementary’s office for more information. Tours are typically scheduled in February, shortly before the applications are due for the following year.
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 become 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 or take them to the nearest Ordway bus stop. The 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 the 4th grade?
A: Currently, the program runs from Kindergarten through the 4th grade. For the 2019-2020 school year, four classes are being offered at Ordway: Kindergarten, First, Second, a 3rd/4th multi-age class. An integrated Spanish Language Arts class will be held at Sakai. The class at Sakai is intended for students who have Spanish-speaking experience, such as those who were enrolled in the El Velero program in their younger years.
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 Learnings we ensure they receive the extra support they might need as well as continue their home language fluency.