Lake Oconee Academy Designated International Spanish Academy By Ministry of Education of Spain

Only Third School in Georgia to be Named an ISA

Greensboro, Ga. (June 14, 2016) – Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) has received official notice from the Ministry of Education of Spain that it has been named an International Spanish Academy (ISA). ISA students will take at least 25% of their high school courses with Spanish as the language of instruction with the objective to obtain written and oral competency in both languages. Students will gain fluid use of the Spanish language, using it in context in their content courses, such as Social Studies and Science, as well as in their Spanish classes. This distinctive and exciting Academy is open to all students at LOA beginning in Kindergarten and continuing through high school.

LOA is among 104 other schools (elementary, middle and high schools) throughout the United States and Canada that are ISA schools. LOA joins Walton High School in Marietta and Wood Acres School, a private K-8 school also in Marietta, to become the third ISA school in Georgia. LOA is the only K-12 school in the ISA network in the US and Canada.

“Our Spanish Education Office cherishes the opportunity to collaborate with the teaching and learning community at Lake Oconee Academy,” stated Felix Gaspar Koch, Education Consultant-Education Office, Embassy of Spain. “We are honored to work together and strive for excellence in educating students as both members of a global community and mindful contributors for a more humane and civilized future.”

The ISA at LOA is another creative and innovative educational program that empowers students for success in the global society in which they live, work and play. As part of the mission of LOA, the ISA adds the basic belief that fluency in at least one other language in addition to English is an essential characteristic of a well-prepared, contributing citizen of the 21st century. The premise behind dual language immersion is simply that a person uses the language, not just studies the language, in order to learn it. Through the ISA, students will be prepared to earn a diploma from LOA and from the Ministry of Education of Spain. The ISA at LOA will:

  • Educate students in the values of multicultural education to foster international communication and respect among different cultures;

  • Teach students to express themselves and effectively communicate in English and Spanish in their personal relationships and in an academic setting;

  • Facilitate and promote the access of students to prestigious centers of higher education throughout the U.S., Spain, Europe and Latin America;

  • Become certified to administer the DELE exams (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera).

The DELE exam evaluates the ability of students to use Spanish in authentic communicative situations that highlight their ability to speak, read, write, listen, visualize and present a variety of ideas in Spanish. Additionally, an on-going relationship between the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (Spain) and LOA will expand opportunities for ISA students to study in Spain.

The ISA program is possible at LOA because of talented and dedicated teachers who will use Spanish as a communication tool in their content area and throughout the campus. Teachers will be working to improve their Spanish skills in preparation for the rollout of this exciting program. An assistant or a Spanish teacher will come to classes and offer whole-group or small-group learning opportunities where Spanish is the language of instruction. The Spanish instruction complements but does not replace the English instruction. Students actually receive reinforcement of the content, hearing the same content in Spanish and using the vocabulary of critical thinking in Spanish as well as in English. Students expand their knowledge of the Spanish language by using it as their main communication tool in their ISA courses.

“The faculty and administration at LOA have embraced the ISA program with great enthusiasm,” said LOA CEO Dr. Otho Tucker. “This is a rare opportunity for children anywhere in the United States, and especially in rural America, to expand their horizons on an international level.”

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Minster