The Southampton school district’s International Spanish Academy has honored students receiving certificates from the program, a partnership with Spain’s Ministry of Education that local educators said is unique on Long Island.
Students in the Classes of 2017, 2021 and 2025 received the recognition Wednesday night for completing studies prescribed by the Spanish ministry at the high school, intermediate school and elementary school levels. Seventeen seniors, 28 eighth-graders and 43 fourth-graders were awarded certificates.
The International Spanish Academy designation is for schools that show strength in bilingual learning and students’ progress in attaining fluency. Southampton High School gained the distinction in 2015 in an agreement with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in Spain. The intermediate and elementary schools received the designation earlier.
Southampton is the only district on Long Island in such a partnership, one of about 100 nationwide, district officials said. The system’s Spanish teachers have received resources, support and professional development opportunities as part of the agreement.
Schools in the partnership offer two courses in Spanish — a language class and a culture class. The agreement includes visits from Spanish educational advisers and the opportunity to assess students using a system called the Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera, or DELE. That system determines the level of Spanish-language competency.
The ISA status also has allowed teachers to travel to Spain to study at no cost to the district, and the program provides the district with a language and culture assistant.