Spanish is part of Community School’s basic curriculum. All our students, from preschool through middle school, enjoy Spanish classes at least twice a week. These classes emphasize basic language skills, a love of languages, and an understanding of Hispanic cultures.
Our younger students learn simple vocabulary and conversation, frequently through games and songs. Upper elementary students begin to read and write Spanish, while middle school students continue to expand their conversation, reading, and writing skills. Older middle school students have the opportunity to earn high school Spanish credit.
This year, Community School will continue its exchange program with Colegio Domingo Savio in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which has been led by our Spanish teacher, Elena Isler, for twenty years. We will welcome ten students to our school in October, and our families will host them. The students from Bolivia will attend classes and participate in our school activities for six weeks. In the spring, CS students will be able to travel to Bolivia and stay with families in Santa Cruz, where they will attend school for a month. This exchange creates a wonderful opportunity for our students to broaden their knowledge of Spanish, immerse themselves in the culture of another country, and gain confidence and independence.
CS Alumni Speak about Their Bolivian Exchange Experiences
“The Bolivian exchange program was the most eye-opening, important experience of my life to date. It taught me independence, social skills, and world knowledge that I would never have known… I am SO happy and LUCKY that I was able to have that experience at such a time in my life. To have an adventure that really opens your eyes to the world is rare, and I remember departing the airport from America as one person, and arriving home as a completely changed human, for the better. I don’t know where I’d be without this experience. The relationships and knowledge I gained were priceless, and the stories as well. Even though I had toured the world with my family even before the exchange program, I never EXPERIENCED it like I did in 8th grade…Thanks so much for everything Elena! I will never forget the gift you have given me.” – CS Alumnus Isaac Anderson
“I feel like I have grown a lot from being in Bolivia. I have become more mature. I also have become more accepting in the way that not all of us are perfect and that I can’t be either. I have learned how to conjugate faster and think faster in Spanish. My vocabulary has also increased. I am so thankful I had this opportunity to go to Bolivia. I will never forget the people I met and became friends with.” – CS Alumna Leah Beltran
“Bolivia was an amazing experience. I learned about another culture, about the history of another country, how to travel internationally. It amazed me to see a family so easily welcome a stranger into their home. The willingness to give of the entire country blew my mind. Although my trip to Bolivia greatly improved my Spanish, I think that the most important thing it taught me was to appreciate other cultures, and to try to bring a little of Bolivian culture to America.” – CS Alumnus Archer Mesner-Hogan