Dual Language Program
The Puyallup School District joins a select number of districts offering a dual language program at the elementary school level.  Karshner Elementary school will officially launch a dual language Spanish/English for the 2018-19 school year.  In addition to the dual language program being considered an enrichment model, it is also the most effective way for a student to learn a second language.  

The preparation for a potential dual language program has included the review and piloting of materials and some instructional strategies throughout the 2017-18 school year in one kindergarten classroom at Karshner Elementary.  The research and benefits of the work devoted to this pilot has resulted in:

The use of one language for instruction is the most effective approach for a K-6 program.  Jumping between two languages simply results in students waiting for the English version of the content.  An 80/20 model with Reading, Writing and Math initially conducted in Spanish has proven to be the most supported in terms of language acquisition for both English speakers learning Spanish, and Spanish speakers learning English.
Professional development for our bilingual staff.  Dual language teachers will have access to instructional strategies from both in-district resources and regional programs.
Identification of currently adopted curriculum that is offered in Spanish, as well as other curriculum and materials that are aligned with our District standards   

The Spanish Dual Language Program is designed so that students completing the program are:
Biliterate: Able to speak, read and write at advanced levels in both English and Spanish reflective of their age.
Bicultural: Able to be more flexible, process perspectives from multiple viewpoints, and more easily make cross-cultural connections.
Academically Oriented: Able to perform at or above same grade level peers in academic subjects as well as standardized assessments.

The Spanish Dual Language Program is an option for all Puyallup School District families who have a student entering kindergarten in the fall 2018.  Families need not reside within the Karshner attendance area to enroll.  Please note that students who live within Karshner’s attendance area are given priority enrollment.  If you would like to enroll your child in the Spanish Dual Language Program please complete an Intra-District Transfer Form (English) or Intra-District Transfer Form (Spanish) and contact the Karshner Elementary School office, (253) 841-8736.

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Objectives
 and Benefits


Improved Academic Performance

Once students reach the intermediate grades, dual language students perform as well as or better than non-dual language students on standardized tests of English and Math, administered in English.

Second Language Skills
Students will achieve high language proficiency in the immersion language. Students learn to read and write academically and interact socially in both English and Spanish.

Enhanced Cognitive Skills
Dual Language students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem solving skills as well as enhanced understanding of their primary language.

Increased Cultural Sensitivity
Dual Language students are more aware of and show more positive attitudes towards other cultures and an appreciation of other people. 

College and Career Ready
Dual Language students are better prepared for the global community and job markets where a second language is an asset.