Heredia-Arriaga School

New Spanish Dual Immersion School

Opening 2023-2024 for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten students

Dear NUSD Families,

As you may know, NUSD has approved opening the Heredia-Arriaga School to students, staff and families for the elementary grades in 2023-2024. (See map below for the school’s location.)  Heredia-Arriaga will be unique amongst our elementary campuses in that it will have a Spanish dual language immersion (DLI) program, also commonly known as two-way immersion. This is an exciting opportunity because research shows that a DLI program can provide students with academic success at or above grade level in two languages. Students who enroll into DLI programs speak English, Spanish, or both English and Spanish. The goal of the DLI program is for all students to achieve or exceed in grade level academic standards, to become bilingual (can formally read, write and speak) in both Spanish and English, and to gain cross-cultural understanding. It is an opportunity for students to develop positive attitudes about students who speak other languages and have different cultural backgrounds, and it helps prepare students for college and career. We are pleased to be able to offer this option to our students and families.

Enrollment in the DLI program during the 2023-24 school year will only be for students enrolling in Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten as we are building the program from the beginning elementary grades (TK/K), and then adding a grade each year.  

We will be hosting three upcoming family/community information nights in partnership with California State University, Sacramento (Sac State) College of Education. In these sessions we will share more information regarding dual immersion with our community and engage with families who have students enrolling in Transitional Kindergarten or Kindergarten in 2023-2024 and beyond and who may be interested in having their student participate. If you are interested in attending, please review this flyer for more information and click on the date you will be attending to RSVP. We look forward to meeting with families.

We also want to thank the families who participated in providing feedback on our initial family interest survey.  As a reminder, the survey was shared to gather information, potential interest, and input from families who will have a student enrolling into Transitional Kindergarten or Kindergarten in Natomas Unified in 2023-2024 or beyond to help us continue to inform our planning. If this survey applies to you and your family, and you have not had an opportunity yet to respond, we are still accepting feedback.  Please complete this survey by May 20, 2022. If you have a friend or neighbor who lives in Natomas Unified and has an incoming Transitional Kindergartener or Kindergartener in 2023-2024 or beyond, please feel free to forward this information and survey to them.  If you do not have a student enrolling into Transitional Kindergarten or Kindergarten in 2023-2024 or beyond, you do not need to proceed to the survey.

family info nights for dual immersion school

It’s been 31 years since Elizabeth Aguirre began her career in education, a journey filled with joy and pride. A graduate from Sacramento State University, Aguirre was selected to be the new leader of Heredia-Arriaga, the Natomas Unified School District’s New Spanish Dual Immersion School opening for the 2023-2024 school year. “I am looking forward to having the ability to design the school and work with a team of people who want to create a dual immersion program that is going to help students to learn two languages,” shares Aguirre. She’s bringing experience with her including being a former principal at a Dual Immersion school, Bowling Green Chacon Language and Science Academy.

In addition to being bilingual/biliterate herself and having a strong background as a teacher and 12 years in leadership, she’s a mother of three children who benefitted from a dual immersion education. “My twins were fortunate to go through a dual language program in elementary. They have both graduated from college and are bilingual and biliterate in Spanish.” Aguirre is excited to be able to offer those same opportunities to students living in the Natomas community. “It’s a huge advantage when you are able to speak two languages. I even noticed higher test scores from my students enrolled in the dual language program compared to those who were not.”

Aguirre enjoys being involved in the community. She has been the founder and member of several community organizations aimed at helping to improve education for all children and adults. One organization in particular included building 200 homes for low income families and help with starting businesses for women who never worked before. Another organization that she is passionate about is the Home Visit Project, now a national program that supports parent-teacher home visits. Aguirre was responsible for writing the curriculum in the early stages of the organization.

We are lucky to have her here in Natomas!

Liz Aguirre, principal of Heredia-Arriaga School in Natomas Unified School District