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Spain designates Woodstock school as 'International Spanish Academy'

WOODSTOCK – On Tuesday, officials from Spain will recognize a School District 200 elementary for showing excellence in language education.

An education adviser for the Consulate General of Spain and other dignitaries will visit Mary Endres Elementary on Tuesday morning to designate the school an “International Spanish Academy” and recognize its dual language program.

The designation is given to any U.S. school that shows excellence in language education programs, specifically content and language learning programs integrated in both English and Spanish, District 200 officials said.

Only six other Illinois schools have received the designation in the past, spokeswoman Carol Smith said.

“Being one of the few schools in Illinois to have this distinction shows the hard work of our staff and students,” Smith said. “The dedication the district has to dual language is really benefiting our students.”

An international academy with the Embassy of Spain allows for expanded dual language programming and resources at Mary Endres in the future, Smith said

Starting in 2004, the school’s dual language program now serves about 260 students in first through fifth grades. Mary Endres at the start of the program became the first school in District 200 to offer a dual language program.

In the program, students learn lessons in English for half the day and in Spanish for the other half.

When Tuesday’s ceremony with officials from Spain concludes, Mary Endres will be one of 14 schools in the United States and Canada to receive the international honor in 2014.

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