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Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625
360 Colborne Street
Saint Paul


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Immersion, Indigenous and World Languages

The vision of our immersion, indigenous, and world language programs is to honor, sustain, and expand the language and intercultural skills of all SPPS students.

In all of our language programs, we believe…

  • All students can learn and achieve at high levels.
  • The experiences of all students are respected and valued as part of the learning experience.
  • Learning a language and developing intercultural competence empowers students’ identity and confidence.
  • Equity and inclusion are the lenses through which we plan and deliver our curriculum and instruction.
  • Curriculum and teaching are grounded in the core of culturally responsive instruction.
  • Communicative and intercultural competence is an asset that supports achievement in all content areas.
  • Communicative and intercultural competence are essential components of college and career readiness.

Register for the Bilingual Seals Assessment

Scroll down for more information on the Minnesota Bilingual Seal.

Dual Language Immersion

Our dual language immersion programs provide literacy and content instruction through two languages and a multicultural perspective. The goal of our dual language immersion programs is for students to achieve academic success in all content areas while also becoming multilingual, literate in more than one language, and gain sociocultural competence. All students, regardless of their home language or language of preference, are welcome to apply to any of our dual language immersion programs.  Students may be required to complete a language proficiency exam if appling to one-way programs after second grade.

At SPPS, we offer two types of dual language immersion programs:

  • One-way programs are offered in French, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish following a 100:0 language immersion model. The 100:0 model signifies that classroom instruction in kindergarten and first grade is taught 100% in the partner language and 0% in English. Beginning in second grade, classroom instruction in English is introduced. At each subsequent grade level, the amount of instruction in English is increased so that by fifth grade, students are taught 60% in the partner language and 40% in English. 

  • Two-way programs are offered in Hmong and Spanish, following an 80:20 language immersion model. The 80:20 model signifies that classroom instruction in kindergarten is taught 80% in the partner language and 20% in English. At each subsequent grade level, the amount of instruction in English is increased by 10% so in grades 3-5, students are taught 50% in the partner language and 50% in English.  

In middle school for all program models, one or more courses are offered in the partner language (French, Hmong, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish). High schools also offer one or more courses in the partner language (French, German, Hmong, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish).

Indigenous and World Languages

Our mission is that all SPPS students gain communicative and intercultural competence in a language other than English. SPPS hosts the most diverse set of indigenous and world language offerings in Minnesota. Students have the opportunity to complete language courses in 12 different languages. These offerings include our district-wide online courses available in Hmong, Karen (beginning fall 2023), Japanese, and Ojibwe.

Minnesota Bilingual Seals

The mission of our Bilingual/Multilingual Seal or World Language Certificate Program is to honor the language assets of all of our SPPS students. The Minnesota Bilingual Seal and World Language Certificate is an award given by Minnesota school districts in recognition of high school graduates who have attained proficiency in English and another language, including American Sign Language and tribal languages. A Multilingual Seal is awarded to high school graduates who have attained proficiency in English and two or more additional languages.

Students in all graduation pathways are eligible to earn an award. Students who have earned a Bilingual Seal or Certificate receive a physical award and a notation on their high school transcript. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, a statewide system of 30 colleges and seven universities with 54 campuses across the state, offer college credit for the Minnesota Bilingual and Multilingual Seals and World Language Proficiency Certificates, as seen below:


Proficiency Level

College credit earned

World Language Proficiency Certificate

ACTFL Intermediate Low

2 semesters=10 college credits

Gold Seal

ACTFL Intermediate High

3 semesters=15 college credits

Platinum Seal

ACTFL Advanced Low

4 semesters=20 college credits

Students have up to 3 years after their high school graduation to request college credits earned from a Bilingual/Multilingual Seal or Certificate.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bilingual Seals