Spanish Immersion Overview

Spanish Immersion Program at Libby Center School

Spokane Public Schools is proud to offer Spokane’s first public language immersion program! The program started in September of 2017 with 50 students and each year the school will accept a new class of kindergarteners, allowing it to expand by one grade yearly. Eventually, this will be a full elementary program.

Libby Center is currently the home to the Odyssey and Tessera programs for gifted education. Spanish Immersion is a smaller program within the larger school community with its own separate identity and classroom spaces. After four or five years, the school might grow to the point of needing its own campus.

How do I apply to attend?

This program accepts kindergarten students through a lottery. The application timeline to apply is January 1, 2018 through February 15, 2018. Applications will be accepted after February 15th, but it is expected that we all seats will be filled within the first application cycle. For the best chance to enroll it is suggested that you apply before February 15th, 2018.

Families will be notified of their enrollment by mid-March. Some preference for native speaking Spanish children will be granted in order to promote a strong learning environment for all children. It is vital to a language immersion program to have native-speaking children for peer language learning.

Here is a link to the online application system: Click here for the link to the online application.

Additional Details

The school is located at 2900 E First Avenue, Spokane 99202. School hours are from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm, and early release dismissal is at 1:15. The school has a secured, single point of entry so all visitors must be buzzed into the office when coming into the building.

Transportation is provided using a hub model, meaning there are locations scattered throughout the city from which you can choose a bus stop. Immersion students ride the bus with the students attending the Odyssey Program (grades 4-8).

Express before/after school childcare is held at Garfield Elementary. As the program grows there may be enough demand to hold childcare at Libby Center. In the meantime, students who use the Express childcare program ride the bus to and from Libby Center.

How does the immersion program work?

Students receive 50 percent of their instruction in Spanish and 50 percent in English, dividing their instructional time between two teachers. These teachers work as a team, planning instruction to ensure that learning is seamless between the two languages. Students learn math, science, literacy skills, and social studies in both languages. The students learn similar concepts at the same time; for example, learning to add and subtract in both English and Spanish during the same week or units of study.

The Spanish teacher will only speak to students in Spanish so they are completely immersed in that language. Of course, during the first month of school the teacher does use some English in order to make sure students are understanding classroom routines and such. Skilled language teachers are able to convey meaning through a variety of methods such as using visuals, modeling, physical gestures, and more.


Does this program have different needs from a traditional kindergarten?

Parental support will be critical to the success of this program. Parents who enroll their children will need to understand the long-term commitment to an immersion program. We encourage you to consider whether your family is ready for the commitment to learning a second language in an immersion model. We ask that you attend one of our information parent meetings so that you fully understand the nature of the program.


At first students can feel frustrated but it doesn’t usually take long before they are understanding the new language and speaking it in the classroom and at home. It can be a truly wonderful experience for your child, but it does require strong support to make it a success.


Students in the immersion program use the same district curriculum as in other schools (although also using the Spanish versions) and also have the same experiences in areas such as art, music, PE, and library. Some after-school programs such as cross-country are also available.


For more information please contact Jeannette Vaughn at 354-7525 or at