Academic Programs

  • The English Program | The Spanish Immersion Program

    (Use este enlace para leer esta página en Español)

    Now in its second century, Ainsworth Elementary School offers educational excellence for all students. Ainsworth is unique in that it offers two separate yet integrated programs, one known as “The English Program” and the other, “The Spanish Immersion Program”. For families living in the Ainsworth neighborhood or within the west side of the PPS district, children can apply for the Spanish Immersion Program through the School Choice process. Over 96 percent of our students in both programs meet or exceed State Standards. For more information on the School Choice process (including transfers and the Spanish Immersion lottery), visit the PPS "Enrollment and Transfer Center" online.

    Ainsworth offers a Talented and Gifted Program in compliance with the Oregon TAG Mandate for gifted education. Portland's program focuses on meeting the student's instructional level and rate of learning every day in the classroom across the curriculum. Classroom teachers assess a student's level and rate in all subject areas and modify the instruction to provide appropriate content challenge and instructional pacing.

    All Ainsworth students receive instruction in the following areas to enrich their educational experience:

    • Music: Students receive weekly instruction from a talented music teacher. Instruction includes: singing, dancing, playing instruments and rhythm.
    • Physical Education: Our Physical Education teachers encourage large motor skills, team cooperation, and physical fitness during regular P.E. classes.
    • Art: Ainsworth students receive direct art instruction both from their classroom teacher and a certified art teacher.
    • Library: Ainsworth has a large student library and a Librarian Assistant that encourages students' love of reading.

    The English Program

    The Ainsworth English Program offers one of the best elementary educations in the city and the school’s test scores are among the highest in the State. We believe that successful students should be exposed to a variety of academic and social situations, while receiving a well-rounded curriculum supported by teaching’s best practices and current research. Our experienced teachers work with students in a supportive, nurturing environment that fosters an enthusiasm for learning.

    Ainsworth provides a wealth of academic opportunities. Students are exposed to a wide variety of literature through read-aloud, shared reading, guided-reading groups and literature circles. Students progress at their own reading rate while at the same time being challenged. Students focus on writing through journaling, modeled writing lessons, handwriting activities, story retellings, drama, direct instruction through the genres, and spelling.

    Students are surrounded by mathematical opportunities, including direct math instruction and problem-based applications. Daily calendar activities, counting, patterning, measurement, graphing, geometry, sorting, estimating, story problems and money are all taught through a manipulative-based program with an emphasis on critical thinking. Students experience the joy of science through observation and a variety of inquiry-based science units. 

    The Spanish Immersion Program

    Students in the Spanish Immersion Program enjoy the same balanced curriculum and enriched environment as the community students while being immersed in the Spanish Language. Ainsworth follows the 90/10 model which begins with 90% of the day in Kindergarten being taught in Spanish. The amount of English increases in each grade by 10%, so by 4th grade, they are spending 50% of their day in each language. Teachers selected for the Immersion program are committed to the concept of an immersion approach to second language learning. Please click here to view the content allocation of a 90/10 program.

    Program Expectations and Assessments

    Immersion students are encouraged to speak Spanish in the immersion classes with both teacher and classmates, in order to build language skills. This is one way to achieve the high level of Spanish fluency required to learn content area and participate in classroom activities. Families should understand that students are learning much of the core curriculum in Spanish and that most assignments will require dedicated focus and hard work.

    Apoyemos al Español helps raise funds each year to bring teaching interns from Spanish-speaking countries. These interns are college-age students who are pursuing a career in education. They work in the Spanish Immersion classrooms 32 hours per week at Ainsworth, Sylvan and Lincoln. Their presence enhances the teaching environment by modeling language and bringing culture into the classroom. The interns come to enhance their own lives as well, gaining teaching experience and building international friendships and cultural understanding. 


    Transportation is provided by the district for students who live a mile from Ainsworth but within the Ainsworth boundaries.


    Parents of Kindergarten students who are eligible to attend Portland Public Schools may apply for the Spanish Immersion Program through the School Choice Lottery. You may visit the PPS "Enrollment and Transfer Center" online for application deadlines and/or docent tours.

    Late Entry to Program & Transfer Requirements

    Most of the students in the Spanish Immersion Program at Ainsworth Elementary School have entered in Kindergarten through the PPS School Choice Lottery process. However, if a student shows adequate proficiency in Spanish, through an interview and assessment process, and there is room in the program, he or she may join the Spanish Immersion Program at Ainsworth at any grade level. You will be required to submit a School Choice Form. School Choice Forms are available at school or at the PPS "Enrollment and Transfer Center" online. Call 503-916-3205 for more information.

    Continuation to Middle and High School

    Students leave Ainsworth with a well-rounded academic foundation. West Sylvan Middle School offers a specialized Immersion program to build language fluency. Students spend a two-period block in an immersion setting. Social Studies and Language Arts are taught in Spanish, which parallels that of all other students at West Sylvan. The Spanish language arts focus is on grammar, reading and writing. The students also spend one period in English Language Arts class. At Lincoln High School, options include Spanish language and literature classes in either the International Baccalaureate Program, or other high-level Spanish language classes.