Parent Advocates for Spanish Immersion
Sioux falls, SD


Sioux Falls spanish immersion
and pasi

Supporting Spanish Immersion and Two-Way Immersion in the Sioux Falls School System.

PASI advocates for and supports the Spanish Immersion and two-way Immersion program in the Sioux Falls Public Schools. The primary focus is on interns who enhance the language and cultural experience in the classrooms and in the community. We also donate money through grants for teacher development and resources for the classrooms and libraries.

There is 1 Spanish Immersion Elementary School, 2 two-way Immersion Elementary Schools, 1 middle school, and 1 high school that are within the Immersion program. The two-way Immersion is full bi-lingualism and bi-literacy in both Spanish and English for English and Spanish speaking children. Two-way immersion is a distinctive form of immersion education in which balanced numbers of native English and Spanish speakers learn together to read, write, speak, and listen in both languages. It costs approximately $6,000 per year to host an intern, an investment that is well worth it for the benefits they give our students and teachers.

Like us on Facebook to stay current with news and information Email PASI at

How does Spanish Immersion and Two-Way Immersion work?

The Sioux Falls School District Spanish Immersion Program began in 2008 at Rosa Parks Elementary with one class of 25 students. As the program developed, it expanded and Sonia Sotomayor Elementary School was built with the intent to develop the program. Sonia Sotomayor opened in 2016 and now serves over 700 students in grades PreK - 5th. It is South Dakota's only full language immersion school. Two-way immersion, which is taught at Hayward and Rosa Parks, is a distinctive form of immersion education by balancing the number of native English and Spanish speakers. They learn together to read, write, speak, and listen in both languages. All academic content is delivered equally across the two languages to students throughout the school day. Students work at the exact same academic level as traditional classroom students. They learn the same content to the same high expectations.

Once kids are ready for middle school, two-way immersion students combine with Sonia Sotomayor Immersion students to continue with bilingual instruction. There they will continue their 6th - 8th grade Spanish Immersion experience with subjects in Spanish as well as English. Spanish Immersion children will have the ability to participate in accelerated classes, as well as elective courses such as chorus, band, orchestra. To review the opportunities available at Edison Middle School for Spanish Immersion students please see the brochure posted on their website.

After middle school, students will continue their education at Lincoln High School for grades 9 through 12. Kids again have the opportunity to take Spanish courses in a variety of subjects. To find out more about the Spanish Immersion at Lincoln High School visit their website. There are now over 1,100 students in the K - 12th grade program. The ultimate goal for all students in the program is to achieve full bilingualism and bi-literacy in both Spanish and English for English and Spanish speaking children.

Participating schools in Sioux Falls immersion program

Spanish Immersion

Mission: To develop life-long, multi-lingual learners with the cultural background and problem-solving skills to succeed in an ever-changing world.

Sonia Sotomayor was named after the first Hispanic person to serve on the United States Supreme Court. It opened in 2016 and all classes are taught in Spanish (Todas las classes son 100% en Español).

Spanish Two-Way Immersion

Mission: For the community, parents, teachers, and students to work together to establish and maintain a learning environment that ensures each child will develop to his or her fullest potential.

Hayward Elementary was built in 1953 and became part of the Sioux Falls School District in 1970. The school was closed in 1986, rebuilt at a new site, and reopened in 1988.

Spanish Two-Way Immersion

Mission: To educate and prepare each student to succeed in a changing world.

Rosa Parks opened in 2007 with two unique programs; Spanish Immersion and Global Studies. The Spanish Immersion program is for English speaking students who learn Spanish through total immersion into the language. The Global Studies program teaches students about other countries, and students receive 15 minutes of Spanish instruction a day. The Spanish Immersion program was moved to Sonia Sotomayor in the fall of 2016.

Mission: To Prepare students to succeed academically, responsibly, and socially in an ever-changing world.

Spanish Immersion in Middle School

Edison opened as a grade school in 1954 but was converted to a junior high in 1956.

Mission: To educate and prepare each student to succeed in a changing world.

Spanish Immersion in High School

Lincoln Senior High opened in 1965.

The Beginning...

The Spanish Immersion Program started in 2008 at Rosa Parks Elementary with one class of 25. Due to popularity and high demand, it was expanded to Robert Frost in 2012,with two classes of 25 students. Both schools ended taking Spanish Immersion students once Sonia Sotomayor was built and opened in 2016. As full Spanish Immersion continued to grow, Two-Way Immersion was introduced 2019. The first graduating class of bi-lingual Spanish speakers from the program graduated in 2021! Currently, there are 4 classes of kindergarteners at Sonia Sotomayor with 27 students per class.

Vision: The Spanish Immersion Program is to prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and global perspective necessary to impact tomorrow's interconnected world. The program is grounded in rigorous academic standards that are infused with the rich diversity of Spanish and English languages and cultures. Becoming bilingual will open doors to unique opportunities for all graduates.

Mission of the Sioux Falls School District Spanish Immersion Program: To successfully educate each student while developing biliteracy and fostering global competency in an ever-changing world.

Sioux Falls has twenty-three (23) Elementary Schools, serving grades K-5. Elementary instruction emphasizes the mastery of basic skills along with respect for one's self and others.

There are six (6) Middle Schools, serving grades 6-8. Middle schools are designed to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of early adolescents. The middle school format fosters a sense of community and cooperation while allowing plenty of opportunity for exploration - both in the academic setting and through co-curricular activities.

Sioux Falls has four (4) traditional High Schools, as well as an alternative high school, a project based learning high school called New Technology High, and a Career and Technical Education Academy. The Career and Technical Education Academy (CTE Academy) is operated by the Sioux Falls School District and allows students from Sioux Falls and surrounding school districts in 9th through 12th grades to obtain advanced training in a variety of programs. Achieving our mission, to educate and prepare each student to succeed in a changing world, hinges on our ability to continually improve the effectiveness of our schools. New Technology High School is a project-based school that teaches exploration and inquiry while students engage in smaller learning communities to master all South Dakota graduation requirements.

High school students can also take advantage of specialized learning opportunities, including the Advanced Placement program in a variety of areas. The Academy of Finance prepares students to enter the world of business and finance.

Specialized services include early childhood development (infants to age five), community education classes, and Southeast Technical College. More than 24,000 Pre-K through high school students were enrolled for the 2016-17 school year. The Sioux Falls School District recognizes the needs for and benefits of implementing alternative school models to provide families and students with choice. Specialized schools are created around a specific subject area(s). All specialized schools continue to teach the core basic standards through lessons with a specific academic focus. Examples of this type of specialized school within the Sioux Falls School District include: All-City Elementary, which involves parents/guardians in the education process; Eugene Field A+ Elementary, which integrates the fine arts in all instruction; Challenge Center at Robert Frost Elementary, which provides an accelerated learning environment for students; and the Spanish Immersion program at Sonia Sotomayor Spanish Immersion Elementary.