NEW Dual Language Academy

Academia Católica Bilingüe

What is the Dual Language Academy / Academia Católica Bilingüe ?

  • Dual Language is an educational model that brings together native English speakers and native Spanish speakers for all or most of the day. All students learn both languages together and serve as language models for one another.
  • The Omaha Catholic School Consortium Dual Language Academy will be located at St. Stanislaus Early Childhood Education Center, 41st and J streets.
  • The initiative is in partnership with Our Lady of Lourdes and Sts. Peter and Paul schools and will begin at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
  • Students become bilingual and biliterate and become fluent in both English and Spanish.
  • Dual Language curriculum is implemented one grade at a time, starting in pre-school, pre-kindergarten or kindergarten and advancing each year.  Enrolled students will follow the Dual Language track from first through eighth grade at Our Lady of Lourdes and Sts. Peter and Paul.

How will it benefit our students?

  • Research confirms that students in dual language immersion programs begin to outperform their English-only peers as early as third and fourth grade and continue to outperform them through high school.
  • Students will be joining a comprehensive learning community supported by Sts. Peter and Paul and Our Lady of Lourdes. By 2026, both schools will offer Dual Language instruction in grades preschool through eighth grade.
  • The Dual Language Immersion form of instruction initiative aligns with the OCSC’s mission and vision of introducing and promoting innovative learning programs and providing an exceptional and sustainable model for Catholic education. In addition, a 2011 sweeping study of Catholic education in Omaha, the Mietler Study, recommended creating a dual language immersion program as an important strategy to serve the city’s Hispanic population.

A Unique Partnership with Boston College

  • We have established a five-year partnership with Boston College’s Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools—TWIN-CS. Boston College has been successfully mentoring schools across the United States.
  • The demographics in the Omaha area support the need for dual language programs and made our application desirable to Boston College. Its proven track record with participating schools as well as its expertise in dual language theory and instruction will help to ensure our success.

Application Information

  • There are 150 available spots in the OCSC Dual Language Academy and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Students who enroll in preschool, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten if selected for the program, can enroll without initial testing. 
  • Your student's tuition rate will be determined by your income. To find more information about the Tuition Tiers, please refer Tuition and Fee FormThe Omaha Catholic School Consortium wants to ensure that the Dual Language Academy programs are accessible to families of all household income levels.  As such, we offer a variety of payment plan options, as well as the opportunities to apply for reduced tuition rates (for preschool and prekindergarten) and scholarships (for kindergarten).

A Day in the Life a Dual Language Program

To help you better understand what a day in a Dual Language class looks like please visit a blog from the University of Notre Dame partnership programs. The blog features Holy Cross Catholic School in South Bend, IN. Check out the amazing learning happening in this two-way immersion classroom!

Also check out this short video testimonial below from local families at recent parent information forums, as they speak on the benefits of the immersion form of language instruction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dual Language and why are we bringing it to Omaha Catholic Schools Consortium schools?

Dual Language Two Way Immersion (TWI) is an educational model that integrates native English speakers and native Spanish speakers for all or most of the day, with the goals of promoting high academic achievement, first-and second-language development and cross-cultural understanding for all students. In DL TWI programs, language learning takes place primarily through content instruction. Academic subjects are taught to all students through both English and Spanish. As students and teachers work together to perform academic tasks, the students’ language abilities are developed along with their knowledge of content area subject matter.

How will it benefit our students?

In most cases, learning another language enhances a child’s English ability. Children can learn much about English by learning the structure of another language. Common vocabulary also helps children learn the meaning of new words in English. Experimental studies have shown that no long-term delay in native English language development occurs in children participating in second language classes, even in full immersion programs.

In fact, children enrolled in foreign language programs score statistically higher on standardized tests conducted in English. A number of reports have demonstrated that children who have learned a second language earn higher SAT scores, particularly on the verbal section of the test. One study showed that, by the fifth grade of an immersion program, students outperformed all comparison groups and remained high academic achievers throughout their schooling.

How does this Dual Language program fit into the overall vision and plan for the Consortium Schools?

Our Consortium schools, as part of our Continuous Improvement plan, continually seek and research best educational practices. Dual Language Immersion is a strong, research-based educational practice that has proven success. Education is essential to support our Universal Church. The Consortium has always strived to produced highly educated faith-filled leaders who are stewards for our community and world, and the Dual Language Immersion model aligns with this vision.

How did you select the location for the Dual Language Academy?

The building, St. Stanislaus, was chosen to host our Academy based on location and accessibility. It is located in a central spot, near both schools with quick access to the interstate. Preschool, Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Academy classes will be housed at the St. Stanislaus campus. Grades 1-8, as they are established, will be housed at both Our Lady of Lourdes and Sts. Peter and Paul.

Will other schools in the Consortium be able to offer Dual Language and when?

As demand merits, additional schools may be added to this effort.

Will other Catholic Schools outside the Consortium be able to offer Dual Language and have these resources available to them?

As collaborative members of our archdiocesan schools, we endeavor to make all schools better. Should other schools want to learn more about the program, we would be happy to share our best practices with them.

Is this program available to students from all over Omaha or just a specified geographic boundary?

Students from the entire metro area are welcome to attend our schools.

What is your partnership with Boston College and what do they bring to the table?

We have established a five-year partnership with Boston College’s Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools—TWIN-CS. The network promotes continuous professional development, critical partnerships with scholars and practitioners, data collection and research. Boston College has been successfully mentoring schools across the United States, and currently has 26 schools in the network. Training is provided through the TWIN-CS Academy, webinars, and coaching, networking and individual consultations. Participating schools report a continuous increase in enrollment. Statistics reveal positive growth in learning outcomes.

How is this program similar to or different than what Omaha Public Schools is offering in its Dual Language Program?

Given that early childhood education is essential in the growth of children, we made the decision to begin with our preschool and prekindergarten programs. We believe that beginning with our youngest learners will be advantageous as it will start the language immersion earlier, increasing our student’s academic growth. The foundation of our Catholic faith makes our program unique and special.

Will this program be competitive to get into?  Will there be a waiting list and if so, how will students be selected from the waiting list?

We anticipate that this program will only make our schools more desirable. This is based on the success of our current programs. According to research, the ideal ratio for a successful dual language program balances native English speaking students with native Spanish speaking students at a 50/50 ratio. During our enrollment process, we will prioritize to maintain this ratio.

Students who enroll in Preschool, PreK, and Kindergarten, if selected for the program, can enroll without initial testing. Students entering the program in 1st grade and above will have to test to ensure they have the foundational skills to be successful in the dual language program.

When does enrollment open?

Enrollment opens Jan 22, 2018. You may obtain enrollment paperwork online or in person through our office. Tours of classrooms at the Dual Language Academy can be scheduled by contacting our business office.

Will you expand and grow this Dual Language program over time and if so, what is your plan to do this?

Our first priority is to ensure the success of our program by creating a viable track for our students through eighth grade. Plans are to work with our high schools to continue the program into high school as well.

Why is this offered to only pre-school, pre-k and kindergarten and not all grade levels?

We have selected an incremental approach that will enable us to focus our time and resources to ensure the greatest student success—strong language acquisition, bi-cultural education, and faith foundation. Our plan begins with preschool, preK, and kindergarten and includes the addition of one grade level each year until we have a full Preschool-8th grade program.


Read a message from our Board of Directors below:

Encouragement letter from John Maginn, Board Chair


For questions regarding the Dual Language Academy contact:


Katie Alitz:
(402) 557-5600

Beatriz Arellanes:
(402) 557-5570