Immersion Schools

Near-endless options abound for families seeking language immersion programs in Minneapolis, St. Paul & the surrounding suburbs

By Tammy Galvin

While the jury may remain forever deadlocked on the debate of whether or not language immersion schools give youngsters a competitive advantage or disadvantage, one thing is certain: The Twin Cities and surrounding metros have a lot of them. 64 to be exact, and even more if you count them by number of languages offered (many locations offer two languages).

The vast majority are Spanish with 45 schools, followed with French and Mandarin/Chinese each with eight locations; Ojibwe/Dakota and Hmong with two respectively; and German and Korean each with one.

Minnesota has long been a leader in the educational field, so it should come as no surprise that it is home to the Minnesota Advocates for Immersion Network, a nonprofit organization that acts collaboratively to support, enhance and educate others about dual language/immersion education in schools.

Immersion program proponents typically argue that:

  • Children tend to become fluent in the chosen language, even if it is not spoken at home;
  • Children’s understanding of their native language may be enhanced, as they begin to see the roots of English words that are present in many foreign languages; and
  • Children will have an easier time learning additional languages in the future.

On the contrary, others argue that:

  • Children with language-based learning disabilities (for example: dyslexia) might have trouble with this type of language program;
  • Children can be intimidated with the “sink or swim” approach used in immersion programs where they are “forced” to learn the language to survive in class; and
  • Children can have difficulty with specific terminology in the subjects (such as math) taught in language immersion programs, and this can cause performance issues on standardized testing.

Regardless of which camp you may fall into, many families have turned to immersion programs for a variety of reasons as is evident by the number of students and even mainstream schools now offering similar programs, or abbreviated ones.

Here are the region’s immersion program, broken down by city and language.


CityOrganizationLanguageYear FoundedContact Number
BlaineWestwood Intermediate & Spanish ImmersionSpanish2009763-784-851
BurnsvilleRayito de Sol Spanish Immersion Early Learning CenterSpanish (private)2001763-722-2039
Cottage GroveCottage Grove Middle SchoolSpanish Continuation2010651-768-6804
Cottage GroveNuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion-Crestview ElementarySpanish2004651-768-3800
DeephavenDeephaven ElementarySpanish 2007952-401-6903
Eden PrarieCentral Middle School Spanish Contuinuation2012952-975-7300
Eden PrarieEagle Heights Spanish ImmersionSpanish2005952-975-7700
EdinaEdina High SchoolFrench Continuation952-848-3800
EdinaNormandale Elementary French Immersion SchoolFrench1991952-848-4100
EdinaValley View Middle SchoolFrench Continuation2006952-848-3800
Excelsior Excelsior Elementary Mandarin Chinese2007952-401-5653
ExcelsiorMinnewashta ElementarySpanish2007952-401-5503
Forest LakeForest Lake Senior HighSpanish Continuation2012651-982-8400
Forest LakeForest View Elementary SchoolSpanish-partial2010651-982-8400
Forest LakeLakes International Language AcademyLakes International Language Academy Spanish, Mandarin (charter)2004, 2011651-464-0771
Forest LakeSouthwest Junior High SchoolSpanish Continuation2009651-982-8700
HopkinsMis Amigos Spanish Immersion PreschoolSpanish (private)2000952-935-5588
HopkinsXinXing Academy-Eisenhower ElementaryMandarin Chinese2007952-988-4300
Lino LakesLino Lakes Elementary SchoolSpanish-partial2010651-982-8850
Little CanadaLittle Canada Elementary SchoolSpanish/English2012651-490-1353
MinneapolisAnwatin IB World Middle SchoolSpanish Two-Way Continuation2010612-668-2450
MinneapolisBdote Learning CenterDakota, Ojibwe2014612-729-9266
MinneapolisEmerson Spanish Immersion Learning CenterSpanish Two-way, 90:101976612-668-3610
MinneapolisJoyce PreschoolSpanish/English 50:50 (private)1995612-823-2447
MinneapolisMinneapolis French ImmersionFrench2012612-668-2275
MinneapolisRayito de Sol Spanish Immersion Early Learning CenterSpanish (private)2001612-332-2770
MinneapolisWicoie Nandagikendan Urban Immersion PreschoolsDakota, Ojibwe2006612-721-4246
MinneapolisWindom Spanish Dual Immersion ProgramSpanish Two-way, 90:102003612-668-3370
MinneapolisYinghua AcademyMandarin Chinese (charter)2006612-788-9095
MinnetonkaClear Springs ElementarySpanish2007952-401-6903
MinnetonkaGroveland ElementarySpanish2007952-401-5602
MinnetonkaInternational Spanish Language AcademySpanish (charter)2007952-746-6020
MinnetonkaJuntos Spanish Immersion North Junior HighSpanish Continuation2013952-988-4800
MinnetonkaMinnetonka Middle School EastChinese, Spanish Continuation2012952-401-5200
MinnetonkaMinnetonka Middle School WestChinese, Spanish Continuation2012952-401-5300
MinnetonkaScenic Heights ElementaryMandarin Chinese2007952-401-5010
PlymouthArmstrong High SchoolSpanish Continuation1996763-504-8800
PlymouthPlymouth Middle SchoolSpanish Continuation1993763-504-7100
PlymouthRayito de Sol Spanish Immersion Early Learning CenterSpanish (private)2001763-545-1790
Prior LakeEl Ola del Lago/Edgewood SchoolSpanish2014952-226-0900
New HopeCopper High SchoolSpanish Continuation1996763-504-8500
New Hoperobinsdale Spanish Immersion SchoolSpanish1987763-504-4400
RichfieldRayito de Sol Spanish Immersion Early Learning CenterSpanish (private)2001763-772-2157
RichfieldRichfield Dual Language SchoolSpanish/English2007612-798-6707
RichfieldRichfield Middle SchoolSpanish Extension2013612-798-6400
St. Louis ParkPark Spanish Immersion Elementary SchoolSpanish1996952-928-6759
St. Louis ParkSt. Louis Park High SchoolSpanish Continuation2005952-928-6100
St. Louis ParkSt. Louis Park Middle SchoolSpanish Continuation2003952-928-6300
St. Louis ParkThe French Academy of MinnesotaFrench (private)1998952-944-1930
St. PaulAdams Spanish Immersion ElementarySpanish1986651-298-1595
St. PaulCentral Senior High SchoolFrench Continuation651-632-6000
St. PaulHighland Park Middle SchoolSpanish Continuation1999651-293-8950
St. PaulHighland Park Senior High SchoolSpanish Continuation651-293-8940
St. PaulJackson ElementaryHmong/English Two-way 90:102006651-293-8650
St. PaulJie Ming Mandarin Immersion AcademyChinese2011651/293-8715
St. PaulL'Etoile du Nord French Immersion ElementaryFrench1996651-221-1480
St. PaulMis Amigos Spanish Immersion PreschoolSpanish (private)952-935-5588
St. PaulPaul and Sheila Wellstone ElementarySpanish/English Two-way 90:102006651-290-8354
St. PaulPhalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet SchoolHmong2011651-293-8935
St. PaulRamsey Junior High SchoolFrench Continuation651-293-8860
St. PaulRiverview ElementarySpanish/English Two-way 90:102005651-293-8665
St. PaulSejong AcademyKorean2014651-330-6944
St. PaulTwin Cities German Immersion SchoolGerman (charter)2005651-492-7106
St. PaulWoodbury High SchoolSpanish Continuation2013651-768-4409


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