Spanish Immersion

What is dual language immersion? 

It is a method of educating students in an instructional setting that allows them to acquire a second language through subject content instruction, educational discourse, and social interaction in the second language for at least 50 % of the academic day (Cloud et al., 2000).


What are the goals of an immersion program?

We have a threefold goal of 1) cross-cultural competence, 2) academic achievement and 3) high proficiency in English and Spanish (in the four areas of usage: reading, writing, speaking, and understanding). 


What are the benefits of an immersion program?

A quality immersion program  will help equip students for our modern, global world in both the workplace and in ministry. 

By teaching a rigourous curriculum in Spanish first, and later in English throughout a student’s academic trajectory, students will graduate able to navigate social, academic, and professional settings with cultural intelligence and bilingual/bi-literate proficiency.


What is RLCA’s plan for immersion? 

We are implementing the early-total-one-way model of dual language immersion where students receive 100% of their daily academic instruction in Spanish. Beginning in third grade, students will receive some direct English instruction, adding more each year. From middle school through high school, the goal will be for students to receive approximately half of their instruction in each language.

We currently offer Spanish immersion for grades K-3. We plan on growing our program as the students advance to the next grade each year.

Won’t my native English speaking child fall behind compared to his/her peers? 

Absolutely not. It is important to keep a long-term perspective on the outcomes of the immersion program. Studies show that in four to five years, students enrolled in a dual-language program not only do well but often outperform their peers in English only programs. 

What about standardized tests?

We have data to demonstrate that students learning in immersion programs following researched guidelines, score as well as, and most often better than their traditionally-educated peers on the same standardized tests in English (3rd grade and beyond).


Where is the school located? 

Our address is 620 West 5th Street in Waterloo, IA. Most know it as the old Sacred Heart school building.

How much is tuition? 

We have a sliding scale for tuition payments that range from $50-$500 per month for a total of $500-$5000 per school year based on family income. We use a formula that takes income, number of dependents, and number of children enrolled at the school into consideration. 



For the 2020-2021 school year, we offer grades K-8. Our long term plan is to add a grade each year until we reach 12th grade. 


Do you limit class sizes? 

We do limit class sizes to 15 students. 


how can I support the school? 

In order for students in the Cedar Valley to have access to affordable, Christ-centered education, the community must support with prayers, financial resources, and by volunteering. God working through YOU will sustain a thriving, life-giving school with excellence in education. Click here to learn more about how to support. 


How do i enroll my student? 

You may download an application below. Once we receive your completed paperwork via mail or drop off, someone from our office will review your information and call you to set up an interview. 



Our school day

What is the school schedule?

The school year begins Sept. 8th and ends May 28th. The school day begins at 8:00 am every morning and ends at 3:00 pm. Parents can drop students off as early as 7:45 am and must pick students up no later than 3:15 pm. There is no school on Wednesdays and students will be dismissed at 12:45 on Fridays (the daycare is open 5 days a week). 


What is your response to covid? 

Our school is closed on Wednesdays to allow for deep cleaning and sanitizing. We also require all students and staff to wear masks. All persons entering the building are required to have temperatures taken. 

How are snow days and other inclement weather handled?

In the event that there is a snow day, we will communicate with parents via text. As a general rule of thumb, when Waterloo Public Schools cancel, RLCA will cancel.  We will not make up snow days.