La Academia will expand to Chaska Middle School West in the 2017-18 school year. Students who started at La Academia five years ago will enter middle school this fall. Students can take a 6th grade Communication Arts course in Spanish called Expresiones, and a U.S. History course in Spanish. Learners in these courses will continue to develop language proficiency in Spanish. Students will also be provided with opportunities to explore various cultural connections. The course content and standards in these subjects are similar to English-only middle school classes.
Teachers from La Academia and middle school teachers have been working together this year to prepare for the incoming group of bilingual 6th grade students. U.S. History teachers from each of the district’s middle schools have met to outline course objectives and units. Learners will focus on United States and Minnesota history from the mid-1800s to current day, with an emphasis on learning and practicing lifelong skills. Teachers developing Expresiones are planning creative, bi-cultural experiences, and project-based units. The class will incorporate Advanced Placement themes and power standards from Language Arts and Spanish courses.
The program at Chaska Middle School West is uniquely designed as a continuation of the two-way, dual-language immersion at La Academia. Middle School West will add immersion classes as students matriculate. When students enter the high school program which will be located at Chanhassen High School, they can continue to take an array of advanced Spanish classes, some of which can earn them college credit.