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Immersion Program

The language immersion concept began in Canada with the duality of French and English within the culture. It came to the USA in the 70s by way of California to improve our educational efforts in the area of foreign language learning. Tulsa Public Schools first implemented the concept as a "school within a school" at Eliot Elementary School in 1981 to bolster flagging enrollment at that site. Students from throughout the school district could apply to participate in the immersion program.In 1991, with the passage of HB 1017 that mandated lowering class sizes, the Eliot site could no longer serve all students within the current building. By that time, neighborhood enrollment had increased due to rejuvenation of the neighborhood. The solution to the overcrowded situation was to relocate the Spanish Immersion program (145 students) to the Eisenhower site in 1992. The Spanish Immersion program became the cornerstone for the International school. The following year, French immersion was added to expand immersion opportunities due to community interest, measured through the increasing numbers of applicants for the kindergarten entry point. As the school's popularity grew, another Spanish immersion program was established at Zarrow International School in 2002.