John Stanford Elementary School

John Stanford International School is an award-winning Seattle public elementary school (K-5) in the Wallingford neighborhood. We offer a dual-language immersion program to all students.

  • Spanish (2000) The first Spanish immersion class entered the JSIS program as first graders and graduated in 2005.
  • Japanese (2001) The first Japanese immersion class graduated in 2007.
  • Why Spanish and Japanese? These languages were chosen based on a survey of 5,000 parents and 1,200 business leaders.
  • We're located just west of the University of Washington in the renovated Latona School building. The building features modern classrooms, high-speed Internet connections, a library with books in many languages and interior design elements reflecting a world culture.

Our Mission is Immersion Education

Children learn a foreign language more adeptly if they are "immersed" in that language. At JSIS, from day one of the kindergarten year, our kids spend half the day learning core subjects like math and science entirely in a second language. For example, at JSIS, a child may learn social studies and science in Spanish in the morning, and math and language arts in English in the afternoon.The immersion teachers speak only in that language. This enables the child to work toward complete proficiency in the second language.

Our Vision

To create a culturally diverse community of life-long learners who demonstrate advanced skills in communication, international language and technology -- and whose performance exemplifies the highest academic standards.

Why Our Program Works

We offer:

  • Highly skilled and devoted teachers, including classroom teachers who loop with the students for two years; additional teachers in music, physical education, library and more; and specialists (ESL, Basic Skills, Special Education) who serve children in and out of the classroom.
  • Commitment to international education and immersion instruction. Immersion teachers are usually native speakers of immersion languages. In addition, every immersion classroom is staffed by a certificated Instructional Assistant (IA), lowering the student-teacher ratio to 14:1. IA salaries are paid for through grants and fund-raising.
  • A supportive business and higher education community that values international education. Collaboration with outside groups--such as the University of Washington, Sister City Council, Trade Development Alliance and the Mexican Council--open us to a world of additional enrichment opportunities.
  • A highly involved parent community. JSIS families volunteer in the classroom, serve on the Building Leadership Team (site council) and work with the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to support classroom education, sponsor social events and extracurricular activities, and more.