Dual Language

  •  International Spanish Academy

    Gomez Heritage Elementary is part of the “International Spanish Academies."  The ISA are educational institutions in the United States and Canada, of recognized academic prestige, which follow an integrated curriculum of Spanish language and content.  In order to be a part of this network, Gomez Heritage has an agreement of collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport from Spain.

    Belief Statement

    Administrators, teachers, and staff within the Dual Language Program of the Omaha Public Schools are dedicated to ensuring that each child acquires the skills and knowledge to succeed in a global society by working towards the following goals:

    • Bilingualism
    • Biliteracy
    • Cross-Cultural Abilities
    • High Academic Achievement


    • More favorable attitudes toward being bilingual and toward students who are different from themselves
    • High levels of satisfaction and enjoyment in dual language classes
    • Stronger cultural identity and high self-esteem
    • Engagement with instruction is higher
    • Overall interest in school is higher
    • Overall attendance is better
    • Fewer behavioral referrals
    • Lower cost of education
    • Learning in two languages develops inactivated brain areas and increases creativity and problem-solving skills 

Process for Entering Dual Language

    1. Live in our area
    2. Learning Community Spots - apply on OPS website
    • Kindergarten- Registration end of January
    • Kindergarten- Lottery in May for the available seats

    **Students with a sibling in the program are guaranteed a spot if the application is turned in on time and the older sibling is noted on the application**

    • If not, they are put on the wait list.

    ***If applications are turned in late, the child will automatically be added to the wait list in the order they are received***

    • For students in grades 1-5, students are added from the wait list only if a current Dual Language student moves out of the program.

    Wait List considerations:

    • Language dominance (goal to maintain a balance of English/Spanish learners)
    • Rare instances are that students jump ahead on the wait list: Newcomers (grades 3-5) or a Dual Language student transferring from another Dual Language school.


  • Expectations of the Dual Language Program

    • Continue in the Dual Language Program through high school
    • Good attendance
    • Read with your students for at least 15 minutes each evening in English and/or Spanish, even if by just listening to them read or asking questions.
    • Volunteer during the school year (The target number of volunteer hours per family per year is 20)

    Things to keep in mind:

    • Children progress at their own rate.
    • It can take up to four years for students to develop strong academic vocabulary skills in their second language.
    • Research shows that students in Dual Language outperform their peers; a bilingual brain enhances creativity & problem solving skills.

    What to expect:

    Sample schedule - A.M. English - Reading & Math, P.M. Spanish - Writing & Science/Social Studies

    • Students develop all four language domains in both languages; speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
    • Dual Language students are held to equal expectations in English and Spanish.
    • Strict language separation is maintained, including homework.