Skip To Main Content


Program Description

Fiesta Garden International School opened its doors in September 1993 to new generations of learners who, when they graduate in six years from an elementary school, will be bilingual and biliterate in Spanish and English; in addition will have the working knowledge and perspective of the growing interdependence of people and countries throughout the world. The educational program is built upon three cornerstones:

  1. A strong academic curriculum
  2. A global perspective which emphasizes the acquisition of critical thinking skills
  3. The development of literacy in both English and Spanish by the time a student reaches 5th grade



Fiesta Gardens International School is a two-way immersion magnet modeled after other successful programs worldwide. Approximately 50% of the students are native English speakers and the other 50% are native Spanish speakers or bilingual. The program design requires that students are immersed in Spanish for the majority of their day during their primary years. As they progress through the program, the English portion of the instructional day is increased thus assuring bilingualism and bi-literacy by the students’ fifth grade year. All students have access to the full curriculum which includes language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education and the arts. The Common Core State Standards are used to ensure that the curriculum is rich, meaningful and challenging.

Research has shown that two-way immersion programs promote the benefits of bilingualism for all children. Predominantly Spanish speaking children are provided equal access to the core curriculum, maintain their home language and learn English. Dr. Virginia Collier’s monumental study, out of George Mason University, of 42,000 Spanish speaking children over twelve-year time span, showed that Spanish speaking students enrolled in two-way programs achieved more than Spanish speaking students who were enrolled in other bilingual or English as a second language programs. Research from the French immersion programs in Canada showed the English speaking children attained a high academic level in the target challenge at no cost to their English development and that on standardized tests they scored at or above other English speaking students enrolled in other monolingual programs. The Canadian research also points out another benefit which is that participating youngsters develop improved mental flexibility. Our evaluators from Far West Labs and our Program Quality Review consults from River Glen Two-Way Immersion Magnet in the San Jose Unified School District have reviewed our results. Preliminary reports from this review of test data, writing samples, observations and interviews indicate that our students will follow the trend of the previous research.

Academically, the Fiesta Gardens International School Magnet is strong. Socially, our parents report that their children exhibit greater cross cultural understanding  than that which they have experienced previously. Daily, staff members witness cooperation and respect between children from different language groups. Personally, our students exhibit a deep sense of pride in their bilingualism. They know that the ability to speak two languages is a special skill and that they are working twice as hard to attain this skill. There may be some days when they resent the extra work, but ask them if they want to attend a monolingual school and they will give you a resounding, “No!”

Important Information

Playground Rules