Sylvia Mendez Two Way Immersion Elementary School is a vibrant, community-focused teaching and learning center that produces bilingual and biliterate, multi-cultural individuals who continually learn, grow and contribute to their community.
What is Two-Way Immersion (TWI)?
It is a research-based educational program that brings native English-speaking and native Spanish-speaking students together at Sylvia Mendez. In the Two-Way Immersion model, a second language is acquired while maintaining the child’s first language. Our goals for students are:
- High levels of academic achievement,
- First and second language fluency,
- Cross-cultural understanding and pride in one’s heritage, and
- A strong self-esteem.
Why do we offer a TWI program?
Two-Way Immersion programs are highly effective at serving English Learners. Studies demonstrate that by the time TWI students leave elementary school, they academically match or out perform their peers. In addition, they develop proficiency in a second language.
Sylvia Mendez students experience:
The same rigorous curriculum as in every other Berkeley elementary school.
A majority of instruction in Spanish in grades K-3, with English instruction reaching 50% in 4th and 5th grades.
Strong research-based English Language Development for our English Learners every day.
Classes composed of 50% native Spanish speakers and 50% native English speakers to the greatest extent possible.
A variety of curricular materials in the language of instruction.
Enriching activities including nutrition & health, farm & garden and the arts.
Active parent participation at home and at school is an important part of our success as a bilingual community.
We encourage parents to:
- Learn about the curriculum,
- Support their children with reading and homework,
- Volunteer, and
- Serve in parent leadership roles.
A bilingual parent liaison will work with families to facilitate involvement in their child’s education.
Do you have questions about Sylvia Mendez’s TWI program?
Sylvia Mendez Principal Veronica Valerio