Wakefield High School: An International Spanish Academy (ISA)
Wakefield High School is an International Spanish Academy, which are part of a network of strongly language committed schools in the U.S. and Canada that implement Spanish immersion programs.
The International Spanish Academies project (ISA) is a bilingual, Spanish/English educational model that the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science promotes in collaboration with American and Canadian educational authorities. Broadly defined, it is a teaching model based on a shared curriculum of both languages used for primary as well as secondary education with a vision and mission that:
- Encourage students’ academic success in all subjects of the curriculum.
- Educate students in the values of multicultural education to foster international communication and respect among different cultures.
- Train students to express themselves and effectively communicate in English and Spanish in their personal relationships and in an academic setting.
- Facilitate and promote the access of students to prestigious centers of higher education throughout the U.S., Spain/Europe and Latin America.
- Prepare the students for their professional development in an international context.
- Promote the participation of distinct groups and social sectors of the community in an integrative, educational project.
The Ministry of Education and Science of Spain makes the following resources and programs available to ISAs throughout the world:
- Access to double academic certification for high school graduates completing a full ISA program.
- Specialized visiting teachers, teacher and student exchange programs with Spain
- Language and Culture assistants as well as partnerships with Spanish schools
- Teacher training courses in Spanish universities
- Participation in a North American network of ISAs
- Pedagogical advice and curriculum support via an assigned area director
The ISAs embody an integrated curriculum that will prepare the students to later participate in international programs of recognized prestige to complete their higher education degrees. The language of instruction is English and Spanish, the exact proportion determined by the school, bearing in mind that the objective is to obtain written and oral competency in both languages.
Immersion students at Wakefield are tested by the Embassy of Spain during their junior year, and the tests are sent to Salamanca, Spain for scoring and evaluation. The students are tested with a protocol called DELE (Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera) to test their proficiency. The DELE is offered at no cost to Wakefield Immersion students at no cost as part of Wakefield’s status as an ISA. The DELE exam is recognized by the European governments, universities and businesses as a measure of the test-takers Spanish ability. The exam has multiple levels, with the Wakefield students taking the B-1, which is one of the higher levels. The B-2 level is the level required for admission to a Spanish university. In Arlington, the Spanish Immersion schools, Francis Scott Key Elementary, Claremont Elementary, Gunston Middle School and Wakefield High School, are ISAs.