A student in Dia de los Muertos attire

A child dressed in Dia de los Muertos attire during an event at the Chandler Magnet Elementary School.

The Worcester Public Schools (WPS) offers Spanish-English dual language programs from preschool through high school. Dual language students learn content in both English and Spanish in integrated groups of students with diverse language backgrounds. The long-term goals of the program are academic achievement, bilingualism and biliteracy, and sociocultural competence. Students can be native English or Spanish speakers.

If you have questions about the district’s dual language programs, please contact the Office of Multilingual Education at 508-799-3623.

What Are Dual Language Programs?

WPS currently has two types of dual language programs - one-way and two-way - based on student population. Instruction and materials are provided in English and Spanish. 

Students make connections between languages and develop cross-cultural competency. Instruction is designed so students can access grade-level content and develop English and Spanish proficiency, and work toward the State Seal of Biliteracy. Learn more about the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy.

The 80/20 Model

Dual Language students learn in an 80/20 model of instruction, which provides them with an intensive focus on developing reading and writing in Spanish in early grades, with strategic opportunities to transfer to English to develop biliteracy. Students begin in PreK and Kindergarten by learning 80% of content in Spanish and 20% of content in English, and transition each year to an even balance between the languages by third grade. Here is a chart detailing the 80/20 model:

PreK & K

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grades 3-6

Grades 7-8

Grades 9-12






3 classes

2 classes






4 classes

5 classes

Frequently Asked Questions

The Benefits of Dual Language