These halls are quiet now, but come September 6, nearly 580 students will be ready to learn their lessons for the year, speaking entirely en Español.
“We have our morning meeting, we read, we do our math, we write. Everything the same as any other student, just we do it in Spanish,” explained first grade teacher Eliana Gutierrez.
Gutierrez spent the last seven years in the Spanish Immersion program here. When her students file in for their first day, it's all Spanish, all the time.
“Starting in first grade, we ask the kids to speak in Spanish to us all the time, and by January we ask them to speak Spanish amongst themselves,” she said.
But for the "upper classmen" of the school—the fifth graders—teacher Leonardo Bohorquez isn't letting his students have it easy.
“Some of them will hide and speak in English, but I will catch them,” he said.
But for good reason; he said learning a new language teaches students to be good problem solvers.
“When you have exposure to that second language, your brain gets more flexible, so their brains start making different connections,” he explained.
“One of the things that I've really noticed is that our children really have a sense of perseverance and grit about them,” said Principal Tracy Vik.
Vik is thrilled to finally have everyone under one roof for the first time. Plus, it will help the kids be exposed to new cultures and learn to appreciate diversity.
“Being bilingual just opens the doors to be able to communicate with a population that some of us just aren't able to do,” she said.