Spanish Immersion/ FLES Program

  • International Spanish Academies


     Spanish Immersion Academies

    Clough Principal Jan Gallagher and all of the Spanish Immersion teachers accepted $5000 from the Spanish Ministry of Education for its Elementary School of the Year Award that was bestowed upon it in the spring of 2011. The money will be used to buy Spanish books and learning materials for our students. Felicidades!

    Here is what the Spanish Ministry of Education had to say about Clough when it selected the school for the award in March:

    Henry P. Clough Elementary School (K-4) in Massachussetts is a very special place. The corridors are wide and bright, the classrooms are colorful and the atmosphere you breath makes you feel as if you were at home. In fact it is the home of some hundreds of little children and of an enthusiastic team of teachers lead by a great Principal. This school offers an amazing immersion program in Spanish and about one fifth of the total population of students are enrolled in this program.

    La escuela elemental Henry P. Clough (K-4) en Massachussetts es un lugar muy especial. Los pasillos son amplios y luminosos, las aulas son de colores y el ambiente que se respira te hace sentir como si estuvieras en casa. De hecho, es el hogar de algunos cientos de niños y de un equipo entusiasta de profesores dirigido por un director genial. Esta escuela ofrece un sorprendente programa de inmersión en español y cerca de un quinto del total de estudiantes de la escuela están matriculados en este programa.


    Spanish Government says Clough is top elementary school in North America

    The Spanish Ministry of Education tapped the school as its Elementary School of the Year in its academic excellence competition.


    Mendon-Upton Schools selected for membership in ISA

    Memorial and Clough were among 10 new schools from across the United States to be chosen to join the ISA Network in 2009. ISA stands for International Spanish Academy. This program was established in order to develop quality Spanish-English bilingual education programs that promote high academic standards, as well as provide students with the values of multicultural education.

The Ministry, through the Education Office of the Embassy of Spain, offers the School, as an ISA member, the following resources and programs:

• Assistance in obtaining validation and recognition of academic accreditation

• Specialized visiting teachers

• Courses for teachers and school administrators in Spanish universities

• Scholarships for summer institutes

• Language and culture assistants

• School exchanges

• Professional development for teachers

• Participation in an ISA network in North America

• Connection with other Spanish and International organizations

Francisco Garcia Diez, ISA member, was recently asked, "What does [ISA membership] mean for our students; how can they directly benefit?" He responded: "I think that the first benefit, and probably the most important, is gaining a proficiency in two languages. Being a bilingual person means you have the opportunity to communicate with people from around the world. Also, the schools and teachers will receive the support of the Spanish Ministry of Education providing them with materials and seminars for professional growth. Keeping our teachers current within the immersion teaching environment is crucial to the program's success."  Students at Nipmuc Regional High School that have gone through the program all 13 years will be handed a special diploma from ISA. Clough and Memorial were the only two schools from the state of Massachusetts accepted for ISA membership. This is a wonderful honor for our two elementary schools and the Mendon-Upton Regional School District.

To read more about ISA and its objectives, please visit the website below.


    An additional honor was the invitation for our two elementary principals, Principal Rozen and Principal Swain, to attend the International Spanish Academies Seminar for Principals in Houston, Oct 26-28, 2009. This trip was fully funded by the Spanish Government.

      Spanish Immersion Academies

    Top photo: Our Proud Principals Stand with the Other Recipients;

    Spanish Immersion Academies

    Bottom photo: Principal Rozen receives the ISA Distinction.


    Here is a report from the two principals on their exciting trip.


    The International Spanish Academies project (ISA) is a bilingual, Spanish/English educational model that the Spanish Department of Education and Science promotes in collaboration with American educational authorities. Broadly defined, it is a teaching model based on a shared curriculum of both languages, used for primary as well as secondary education. The International Spanish Academies (ISA) constitutes an educational program in English and Spanish through the collaboration of American and Canadian public schools and the Ministry of Education and Science of Spain.


    This summer, the Mendon-Upton School District received some great news!!! The Spanish Immersion programs at the Henry P. Clough and Memorial Schools were selected to be part of the Ministry of the Spanish Education International Academies Program and serve as an International Spanish Academy (I.S.A.) with support from the Spanish government. Clough and Memorial were among ten new schools, from all over the United States and Canada, to be selected to join the ISA network in 2009; in addition, our elementary schools were the only two schools from the State of Massachusetts!!! This is truly an honor for our two elementary schools and for our district as well. Although for a number of years we have worked closely with the Spanish embassy in support of our Spanish Immersion Program, this special ISA distinction affords more opportunities for our students and staff.


    As a result of our district's elementary schools being conferred with the accolade of receiving the ISA distinction, the two elementary school principals were invited by the Spanish government to attend the International Spanish Academies Seminar for Principals held in Houston Texas form October 26-28, 2009 for the official signing ceremony. Mrs. Debra Swain, principal of Memorial School in Upton and Mr. Vincent Rozen, principal of the Henry P. Clough School in Mendon, each reported that the Houston seminar provided them with a treasure trove of valuable experiences and materials which they have shared with their respective faculties. As principals, they also had the opportunity to learn about the methodology of the ISAs which is based on two main principals: the instruction of language as a means or vehicle, and the instruction of other subjects in a foreign language as well as in the students' native language. Sharing the intricacies of their program with schools across our nation and Canada was a wonderful networking opportunity for them. The principals also learned that as an ISA member school, their schools would also be able to access an increasing pool of resources, which will be provided through the Spanish Ministry of Education. They also discussed a variety of didactic materials in Spanish, human resources, teaching staff and training programs, evaluation and student support, and program assessment. The Ministry of Education and Science of Spain explained some of the resources and programs available to the ISA network schools: Access to double academic certification; specialized visiting teachers; teacher exchange programs with Spain; language and culture assistants; teacher training courses in Spanish universities; student exchanges; partnerships with Spanish schools; participation in a North American network of ISAs; didactic materials and resources; and pedagogical advice.


    One of the more interesting aspects of the meetings was a review of MCER, (Marco Común Europeo de Referencia), The Common European Framework of Reference and its application to the DELE. The DELE (Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language) is the official accreditation of the degree of fluency of the Spanish Language, issued and recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain. Ms. Rosa Lopez-Boullon from the Office of Education, Embassy of Spain, led this most interesting discussion group.