Feb 18, 2014

Certification Recognizes High Quality, Highly Effective Immersion Programs

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Department of Education today announced three schools in five locations in Louisiana have been designated as State-Certified World Language Immersion Schools.  The designation, created through Act 361 of the 2013 Regular Legislative Session, is based on overall excellence in offering high-quality, highly-effective world language immersion learning and teaching.

The schools recognized as State-Certified World Language Immersion Schools are:

East Baton Rouge Parish:

  • Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet (BR FLAIM)
  • Westdale Middle School

Type 2 Charter School:

  • International School of Louisiana – Bunche Campus
  • International School of Louisiana – Olivier Campus
  • International School of Louisiana – Camp St. Campus

“This recognition is a testament to the extraordinary efforts of the educators and students in these schools,” said State Superintendent John White.  “They set a standard of excellence for all immersion schools striving for the highest level of achievement in academics, in the acquisition of an immersion language, and the increased enhancement of English.”

Research has shown that learning a second language has a positive effect on intellectual growth and increased awareness of diverse cultures through access to history, art, and literature.  Students in foreign language immersion programs have been shown to demonstrate enhanced cognitive functions in solving complex problems and mathematical computations through the development of more divergent and higher order thinking skills.

“The designation will serve to recognize the efforts and success of Louisiana parents, teachers, and school administrators in developing and nurturing these innovative and proven school curriculums,” said State Senator Eric LaFleur of Ville Platte, author of Act 361.  “In addition, it should help provide greater awareness to the public about these distinguished immersion school programs and guide parents to those schools who looking for their children to be a part of that success."

Schools earning the designation consistently meet criteria developed by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) including high-quality immersion language time, protection of the written and oral forms of the immersion language within teaching time, immersion language teachers possessing native-like fluency, and visibility and recognition of the immersion language throughout the school.

The process to earn the State-Certified World Language Immersion School designation begins with a signed application for the site which includes teaching schedules and evaluation questionnaires from language immersion teachers, English Language Arts teachers at the site, and the principal.  Auditors schedule a school visit to verify the application using a rubric.  The auditors then meet with the school principal to offer final evaluation of the rubric.  A final score of 80 percent or higher on the total number of possible points earns the school the designation of a State-Certified World Language Immersion School.

Each State-Certified World Language Immersion School receives a seal of excellence from BESE to affix to documents, school publication, and letters.  The state-certified status is valid from January 2014 through December 2016.  All immersion schools, public and private, are eligible to apply for state certification.

For a copy of the State-Certified World Language Immersion School application, please click here.

For a copy of the State-Certified Immersion School Site Visit Rubric, please click here.

To read Act 361 of the 2013 Regular Legislative Session, please click here

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