PGCPS Home / Frequently Asked Questions
  • Schools

    Cesar Chavez Elementary School

    Dual-Language Immersion

    Overlook Elementary School

    Spanish Full Immersion

    Phyllis E. Williams Elementary School

    Spanish Full Immersion

    The application process and school assignment of accepted students are managed by PGCPS Pupil Accounting and School Boundaries.

    Program Description

    1)      Does the school system have a long-term plan for the expansion of Spanish Immersion programs past grade 5? If so, what are the tentative plans? Yes. The tentative plan will be in Phase II and will extend the program grades 6-12.  This will require finding possible locations and developing a program with specific tasks and milestones.

    2)      What classes will be taught in the target language?

    Dual-Language Immersion- Cesar Chavez ES

    Full Immersion- Overlook ES,

    Phyllis E. Williams ES

    ·         English Language Arts- 50%

    ·         Spanish Language Arts- 50%

    ·         Math- 100% Spanish

    ·         Science-  50% English, 50% Spanish

    ·         Social Studies- 100% English

    ·         Spanish Language Arts- 100% Spanish

    ·         Math- 100% Spanish

    ·         Science- 100% Spanish

    ·         Social Studies- 100% Spanish


    *English Language Arts is introduced in 2nd grade

    *As the program grows, the Specials (Art, Music, PE, etc.) will be taught in the target language.


    3)      How will students develop their English language skills in a Spanish Immersion program?  There is a cognitive transference of skills.   Explicit English instruction begins in second grade.

    4)      What are the Spanish language proficiency goals for the students?

    Immersion Programs Exit Kindergarten Proficiency Targets

    Mode & Skill




    Interpretive Reading

    Presentational Speaking




    Novice Mid

    Novice High

    Novice Mid

    Novice Mid

    Novice Mid

    National Immersion Estimated Proficiency Levels-

    ACTFL Proficiency Standards

    ACTFL Can-Do Statements

    Instructional Staff

    1)      What is the recruitment process for the Spanish Immersion teachers?  Human Resources and other Central Office and Immersion Office Staff and Principals review resumes based on teacher certification, qualification, and experience; they have interviews with the candidates. Principals choose the teachers.

    2)      What are the credentialing requirements for the Spanish Immersion teachers?  Kindergarten teacher certification K-3, proficiency level at native speaker or superior, and at least 3 years of experience in bilingual or immersion programs.

    3)      What training is being provided to Principals to ensure they are equipped to successfully manage a Spanish Immersion program in their schools? Principals were invited to the Immersion Summer Institute July 29-31, 2014 and specific immersion training provided by The University of Minnesota (CARLA, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisitions) August 6-7, 2014.  They also participate in Immersion Task Force meetings throughout the year.

    4)      What is the role of the Spanish Immersion Program Coordinator at the school? The role of the Spanish Immersion Program Coordinator includes, but is not limited to, communicating with parents, implementing teacher trainings, managing materials, modeling lessons, and assisting teachers in the classroom.

    5)      How does the Program Coordinator engage parents? The Spanish Immersion Program Coordinator sends out at a minimum a monthly newsletter and weekly homework packets to parents, answers parent e-mails and phone calls, and invites parents to participate in various activities throughout the year.

    Parent Participation

    1)      What can we do as parents to get involved in our child’s language immersion programs?  The Program Coordinator will develop a volunteer program for some parents to read aloud to the students. The Program Coordinator will use e-mail, internet tools, and newsletters to communicate with parents in both languages. Parents can assist the teacher with ideas for field trips or guest speakers to come to the school. Parents can share ideas for activities with the Program Coordinator. Parents will be invited to participate in monthly meetings. 

    2)      Is there a foreign [world] language parent advisory council that the Spanish Immersion parents can join? If not, are there plans to create such a council that supports parental involvement to assist in monitoring the program’s success? I am not aware of a World Language parent advisory council in the state of Maryland, but with the leadership of parent advocacy groups, it appears that these groups have already started working with the Spanish Immersion parents and that is an excellent start. The parents have started showing their commitment to the students that are part of the Immersion Program. The school PTA/PTO is always working to support all school programs and activities

    3)      Will the school host Open Houses featuring the Spanish Immersion Programs? The school will host open houses throughout the year.  Contact the Spanish Immersion Program Coordinator at each school for more information.

    4)      How can parents support their child’s development of Spanish language skills when they don’t know the language?  Many of the reading and phonics skills transfer from Spanish to English so we encourage the parents to read at home with their child in either language.  Parents will receive online access information to our textbooks to assist their children in completing their homework and practicing their reading skills in Spanish online.

    5)    Does the World Languages Department plan to conduct an information session regarding the Spanish Immersion/Dual Language programs; discussing the models, program goals, and expected outcomes during the first year and subsequent years?  The Immersion Office will present the information at events such as Open Houses, Orientation, and Back to School Night at the schools as well as other events held by the school system like the Academic Fairs/Showcases.


    1)      How will the school system evaluate literacy in both languages? The county collects Immersion K-2 data (i.e. letter identification, sight words, emergent literacy behaviors, and DRA-directed reading activity for fluency and comprehension) in the target language. DRA kits have already been ordered in Spanish to meet systemic assessments. In addition, the students will also be tested using a new state KRA (Kindergarten Readiness Assessment) in English as all other Kindergarten students in the state. In second grade students begin English in full immersion and are then assessed in both languages using K-2 data tools. In Dual Spanish Immersion, students are assessed in both languages beginning in Kindergarten.

    2)      Will my child take state and program specific mandated assessment in the foreign [world] language? The state does not allow for state mandated assessments to be given except in English and our students have historically taken the tests in English for the French Immersion program and will do the same for Spanish and Chinese Immersion programs. We typically translate Unit tests (i.e. Math) that the system provides and the PGCPS benchmark tests given to all students are given in English.

    3)      What is SchoolMax? Prince George’s County Public Schools uses the SchoolMAX Student Information System to manage student data, including grades, attendance records, and schedules.  See Parent Portal Information page for more information.

    4)      What assessments will students receive in Spanish and/or English?

    Title I Schools

    1)      What is Title I?

    2)      Does the school receive Title I funding? Overlook ES and Cesar Chavez ES receive Title I funding.  Phyllis E. Williams ES does not.

    3)      If there is no Title I funding, then how is the school funded? PGCPS systemic funds.

    4)      How is delivery of the Spanish Immersion Program impacted by Title I funding compared to regular funding of the schools? Title I schools may receive additional resources through the Title I funding that will assist all students in the school.

    For additional PGCPS Spanish Immersion resource go to: