Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Bridger School

Home of the Wildcats!

7910 SE Market | Portland, OR 97215
Phone: (503) 916-6336 | Fax: (503) 916-2612

Spanish Dual Language Program

Blackboards are replaced with Powerpoint presentations in Mr. Lopez's class.

Goal of the Program

All children will:

  • Be bilingual and bi-literate by the end of 8th grade.
  • Have a deep cultural understanding of cultures from Spanish speaking countries as well as an understanding of the cultural aspects of the Oregon and the United States.

Evidence of Effectiveness

Research has consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of Two-way bilingual programs. Children who enter and remain in two-way programs from kindergarten through fifth grade historically either meet or exceed established norms for both mathematics and language arts in Spanish and English. We expect to maintain Spanish Immersion through the eighth grade.

Students learn core math/science curriculum in Spanish.

Program Design

Integration: Language-minority (Spanish native language students) and Language-majority (English native language students) students are integrated during both Spanish and English instructional time. The two language populations are intentionally integrated in the classroom setting as a means of providing primary language Spanish and primary language English peer models while promoting learning within a cross-cultural setting.

Students learning grammar in Mrs. Lewis' Kindergarten.

Instruction: Content and literacy instruction is provided to all students in both Spanish and English. When a child enters our two-way bilingual program they will initially receive more instruction in Spanish with increasing amount in English added each school year. This model is recognized as the 90/10 (90% of classroom day learning in Spanish /10% learning in English beginning in Kindergarten.)

Language is acquired by meaningful communication within the context of core/instruction content learning.

Population: Within the program there will be half (primary Spanish speaking students) and half (primary English speaking students) to the extent that we can manage that core value.

Teachers: All Spanish immersion teachers are certified bilingual educators.

Bridger Spanish Immersion uses a 90/10* model with 50% native Spanish-speaking students and 50% non-Spanish speaking students in each classroom, (allowing for school community and Portland Public Schools demographics).

Program Implementation

Grade Level Year % Model
Kindergarten 2006/07 50/50 model, currently 90/10
First 2007/08 80/20
Second 2008/09 70/30 - Introduction of content in English
Third 2009/10 60/40 - Literacy in English
Fourth 2010/11 50/50**
Fifth 2011/12 50/50
We are currently looking at what model we will want for our mid-level students to continue their Spanish Immersion learning.
Sixth 2012/13 50/50
Seventh 2013/14 50/50
Eighth 2014/15 50/50

** This is the year that we conscientiously provide 50% academic learning in Spanish and 50% in English. 50/50 continues thru 8th grade.

As of this date we have not heard what the choices for high schools will be. We know that Portland Public Schools is addressing this issue and should have a plan by the end of 2008-09.


  • Literacy is taught in Spanish K-2.
  • Literacy will be taught in both languages beginning in 3rd grade.
  • Math Investigations is the district's adopted math text and is provided in Spanish.
  • Language of instruction for additional subjects, including science and social studies, will be determined during the year.
  • Academics will begin 50% in English and 50% in Spanish, in the fourth grade.

Why Spanish Immersion?

It's Healthy! — People who are bilingual have an advantage over the rest of us, and not just in terms of communication skills. The bilingual brain develops more densely, giving it an advantage in various abilities and skills, according to new medical research.

A Requirement For Graduating College — Many colleges require their students to study a foreign language for at least two years, and some prefer three or four years of one language. Spanish speakers can easily learn other Latin-based languages such as French and Italian.

Being Bilingual Increases Employability — The U.S. is increasingly operating in global markets. Foreign language fluency is a significant asset for job seekers, as more and more companies trade internationally.