Sixth International Spanish Academy – The School District of Palm Beach County
The Sixth International Spanish Academy speaks volumes about the importance of teaching dual languages
The Palm Beach County School District recently announced its sixth International Spanish Academy (ISA) school. Palm Springs Community Middle School earned this prestigious honor after qualifying to be part of the Spanish Academy’s international network.
On May 25, 2022, Dr. Pamela McDonnough, Director of Palm Springs Middle, has received a letter from the Counselor for Education, Spanish Embassy in Washington DC, officially notifying the school of their acceptance into the ISA network.
To gain the designation, the school had to submit substantial documentation, including a letter from Ed Tierney, deputy superintendent/head of schools for the district, Melissa Patterson, director of multicultural education, and a letter from McDonnough. The ISA program at Palm Springs Middle will begin in the 2022-2023 school year.
“Being part of the International Spanish Academy network is a historic honor, not only for all of our teachers, staff and administrators, but also for our students and the entire community,” said Dr. McDonnough. “It confirms the power of a bilingual education, and we will continue to honor bi-literacy and bi-culturalism here at Palm Springs Middle.”
Over the past two decades, the school district has seen the establishment of five ISA schools: Berkshire Elementary, Greenacres Elementary, New Horizons Elementary, Okeeheelee Middle, and John I. Leonard High.
The design of the ISA program includes a content-based curriculum for different subjects in which the Spanish language, culture and history of Spain as well as other Spanish-speaking countries are included in the K-12 curriculum.
“We are very proud of the Palm Springs Middle designation, which is a testament to the high quality education bilingual students in the community receive from their faculty,” Patterson said. “It also speaks to the school’s commitment to fostering bilingual and bilingual students while enriching their academic journey with authentic Spanish cross-cultural experiences. We look forward to the benefits of being part of the ISA network.”
The International Spanish Academy program is an educational outreach initiative of Spain’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training through which successful schools in the United States and Canada implement a bilingual Spanish-English immersion program with the support, advice and recognition of the Ministry of Education of Spain.