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Spanish Immersion Guidelines

Immersion Program Admission Guidelines

Section I: Eligibility

  1. Children must meet Manheim Township SD Readiness criteria to enter the Immersion lottery. Children must meet Manheim Township SD age requirements for first grade. (School Board Policy # 201: Admission of Students).
    • NOTE: Parents of students NOT enrolled in a MTSD kindergarten class must make arrangements for their children to be assessed at the school where the immersion program is housed. The assessments must be completed during the designated window of testing (determined yearly by MTSD staff).
  2. Parents must complete the registration online.
  3. Children may be entered in only one MTSD Immersion lottery.
    • We strongly encourage all parents to visit an Immersion class prior to registering their children for the lottery.
  4. On the day of the lottery the child must be a resident of MTSD and registered for MTSD first grade.
  5. English should be the primary language spoken in the home as identified per the Home Language Survey.

Section II: Distribution of Spaces

  1. The Immersion option is a district program. All buildings will have the opportunity to be represented in each class.
  2. Each school receives a number of spaces in the lottery based on a ration of the number of students enrolled in their building for first grade and the total enrollment district-wide.
    • For example: If 400 students register for the district’s first grade program and 50 of these registrants are from Brecht, 3 (or 1/8) of the 25 Immersion spaces are designated for Brecht in the lottery drawing.
  3. The student’s current legal residence will determine their elementary attendance area for the pre-determined lottery spaces based on the lottery registration deadline.

Section III: Class Size

  1. The goal is to begin and maintain 25 students in the class through the first grade year.
  2. If the class size is less than 25 after all schools have had their pre-determined number of names drawn, all remaining names will be combined for a drawing until a total of 25 students have been drawn.
  3. Twins (triplets, etc.) will be listed on one lottery ticket. However, if that ticket is drawn, all names listed will be admitted to the Immersion program.
    1. For example: If Brecht has 3 pre-determined spaces and twins are selected, they will count as 2 of the three spaces. If twins are selected on the third pick, we will extend to four spaces from Brecht.
    2. If we have “extra” spaces because all buildings did not use their pre-determined amount, we will combine all remaining names for the final drawing. If twins are selected on the 20th pick, they will account for spaces 20 and 21 and the lottery will stop at 25. If twins are selected on the 25th pick, the class size will increase beyond 25.

Section IV: Waiting List

  1. Names not picked for the Immersion class are then selected to create a waiting list in the order they are drawn. Beginning in 2014, children with siblings already in the Immersion program DO NOT receive preference on the waiting list.
  2. All participants will be notified of their position in the selection process upon completion of the lottery.
  3. If an opening occurs in the new first grade class, the next student on the wait list will fill the opening.
  4. All children chosen to fill a vacancy through the end of the first semester of the first grade year must meet all of the first grade benchmarks.
  5. If a vacancy occurs after the start of the second semester in the first grade year, school personnel will decide if students should be added to the program based on their first grade benchmarks, current school performance, ability to adapt to change and language background.
  6. At the close of the first grade year, the waiting list is dissolved.
  7. In grades 2 through 4, students may be admitted to the Immersion program on a case-by-case basis.
  8. The decision will be made after the student’s portfolio consisting of formative and summative (MTSD end of year tests) assessments has been reviewed.
    • For example: A student moving into the district from a partial/full Immersion program (delivered at least 80% of the time in the Spanish language) may be added to the MTSD program. Factors that may be considered are class size and composition of the current class.


Assessments will take place in May of kindergarten year.

  1. Benchmark in the English Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) as determined by the DIBELS website University of Oregon- DIBELS Next Recommended Benchmark Goals
  2. Proficient in Letter Naming Fluency Assessment (Greater than or equal to 62 as determined by the DIBELS assessment)
  3. Proficient in Phoneme Segmentation Fluency Assessment (Greater than or equal to 51 as determined by the DIBELS assessment)
  4. Proficient in Nonsense Word Fluency Assessment (Greater than or equal to 44 correct letter sounds and 7 whole words read as determined by the DIBELS assessment)
  5. Proficient in reading English kindergarten sight words (Greater than or equal to 29 as determined by the end-of-year sight word assessment)
  6. Proficient in naming all uppercase letters as determined by the end-of-year letters/sounds assessment
  7. Proficient in naming all lowercase letters as determined by the end-of-year letters/sounds assessment
  8. Proficient in producing all letter sounds as determined by the end-of-year letters/sounds assessment
  9. Proficient in kindergarten math skills
    • Math End of Year Test (70% or greater)
    • Addition facts 1 to 5 timed in 1.5 minutes with 70% or greater
    • Subtraction facts 1 to 5 timed in 1.5 minutes with 70% or greater (as of May 1)
  10. Proficient in reading readiness skills (See Spring Readiness Benchmarks)

Students must receive a “Yes” in all categories in order to qualify for the Spanish Immersion lottery.