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Enrollment Policies and Dates

The selection process for the Spanish Immersion (SI) Program is conducted by lottery.  The program is open for enrollment to all students in the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD). Interested parents have to follow the following steps to enroll their child in our program:

1.  Parents/Guardians are required to understand the goals of Spanish Immersion

Before submitting a lottery card, parents are required to attend an informational meeting and one of three classroom visitation days:

- Mandatory Information Night:

  • January 22, 2019, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (at Escondido, Library)
  • January 31, 2019, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (at Escondido, Staff Lounge)

-Application/Tour dates: January 28, 29, February 4, 5 (Link to register for a tour will go live after the Mandatory Info night on January 22nd). Applications are provided after attending one of the tours.

-Spanish Oral Language Testing Appointment sign up opens on Feb 6.

2.  All program applicants must be registered in the Palo Alto Unified School District

Enrollment is open to all PAUSD students, including those students participating in the Voluntary Transfer Program (Tinsley). To be included in the initial kindergarten lottery, the applicant must be registered for kindergarten.  All other program applicants must be registered for their neighborhood school in the Palo Alto Unified School District.  If the child is not registered and their name is drawn, their selection will be withdrawn.

3.  All program applicants, including siblings, must enter a lottery card

Lottery cards are distributed to parents in the Escondido office after having attended one of three mandatory classroom visits.  Lottery cards must be returned to the Escondido office before the deadline to be eligible for participation in the lottery held for Palo Alto choice programs. A public lottery is held to select the students for the program. Students will retain their space at their neighborhood school until the parent/guardian signs an intra-district transfer to the Spanish Immersion Program, after being selected in the lottery.

4.  Siblings

Siblings of current Escondido SI students who will still be Escondido students at the time the incoming kindergarten student begins school have first priority.  They will have a space in the program, as long as they follow all registration requirements (including registration at the district and turning in a lottery card at Escondido by the deadline).   Spanish-speaking siblings are assessed to determine their oral language proficiency.  Based on the results of the assessment, they are placed into one of the three program categories.

5.  Spanish/English Proportion

One third of the 44 spaces are for monolingual native Spanish speakers, one third are for monolingual English speakers, and one third are for bilingual students (Spanish/English).  Native Spanish speakers are children who are fluent in Spanish (and may also be fluent in English or other language).  English speakers are children who are fluent in English but not Spanish.

After spaces are assigned to siblings (as outlined above), the remainder of the 44 spaces are filled with names drawn by a lottery conducted at the District Office.  The percentages of students representing each language category are maintained throughout the lottery process in order to ensure the linguistic balance of the classrooms.  Children whose parents have indicated that their child has Spanish language proficiencies will be assessed prior to the lottery to determine their Spanish language oral proficiency.

6.  Deadlines

Lottery cards received after the closing of the kindergarten registration date will be kept on file in case an opening should occur at a future date.  All lottery cards for the initial kindergarten lottery drawing must be turned into the Escondido School Office by the predetermined deadline.

7.    Wait List

The lottery process randomly assigns a ranking number to each participant.  If a student does not gain entrance to the program based on their ranking number, their information will remain on file in the Escondido Office until the end of kindergarten.  Should an opening occur at a later date, families will be notified in order of priority based on their lottery ranking.  If a space becomes available after the lottery and a family declines the space the child’s name will be removed from the perspective participant pool.

8.    First through fifth grade enrollment

In order to apply for the Spanish Immersion program in grades 1-5 applicants must turn in a registration card to the Escondido Office.  Registration cards may be turned in at any time during the year.  Registration cards are dated when received by the Escondido Office and kept on file.  As openings occur, parents will be contacted.  All students entering grades 1-5 will be assessed to determine if they are within the acceptable range for the grade they would enter.  Assessments are conducted in Spanish and cover oral proficiency, reading, and writing.

Important PAUSD Registration Dates

File Attachment(s)

PDF icon SI Brochure 20174.2 MB