Elementary Spanish Program

Program Director: Beverly Catlin, Coordinator of Instruction
(434) 245-2421


In the 2008-2009 school year, Charlottesville City Schools launched its elementary Spanish program.  It is a sequential FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools) model that is tailor-made for our school division by our own teachers. All students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade receive approximately sixty minutes of instruction per week with an elementary Spanish teacher.  Starting in the 2013-2014 school year, CCS 6th grade students will take Spanish I and will be eligible for high school credit upon the successful completion of the course.

Program Goals

  • To enhance the development of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in English and Spanish
  • To develop higher order cognitive skills
  • To support academic content area instruction
  • To promote global awareness and cross-cultural understanding
  • To develop increased functional proficiency in all aspects of the language with each year of study
  • To meet district, state, and national foreign language standards

The Curriculum

Students participate in an original curriculum that supports the division’s core curricula and is aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning and the National Foreign Language Standards.  

FLES instruction is proficiency-oriented. This means that there is a greater focus on meaningful communication than on grammatical structure. Students are encouraged first to understand and then to produce in the language. Throughout a lesson, students and teachers use the target language as much as possible. 

The CCS FLES curriculum is based on four thematic units. Each unit includes:

  • Performance objectives
  • Cultural integration/information
  • Thematic/linguistic focus (with essential vocabulary and suggested activities/assessments)

Each subsequent school year, staff will build on the previous year’s curriculum adding greater detail, rigor, and breadth. 

Curriculum at a Glance

Parents are encouraged to use curriculum at a glance documents at home to help students reinforce the Spanish phrases they learn in class.