Summer Immersion Excursion Program

English Learners visit the Science Museum of Virginia.

Opening Doors to the Opportunity of a Lifetime

Since its creation in 2012 as a small summer program for Recently Arrived English Learners (ELs), Summer Immersion Excursion (SIE) has grown exponentially.  Albemarle County has expanded this program to welcome a vast range of multilingual and multicultural students in Grades 3-9. We have also included Former and Long-Term ELs and students transitioning between elementary, middle, and high school.  Additionally, we have welcomed exceptional program alumni who paid it forward to the next generation by serving as student Teacher Assistants.  

A teacher and student share a bonding moment together.

​Students begin each morning by engaging in hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities to promote creative and collaborative problem-solving skills.  Small-group instructional rotations accelerate students' academic language acquisition across the content areas and acculturation to U.S. schools.  Additionally, students create digital "My Life Project" presentations to connect their personal experiences with language learning across the content areas. 

All curriculum directly connects to weekly virtual or in-person excursions with the support of community organizations that focus on regional history and science.  Over the years, we have partnered with Frontier Culture Museum​​James Monroe's HighlandJames Madison's Montpelier, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Lewis & Clark Exploratory CenterVirginia Museum of Fine ArtsScience Museum of Virginia, Ivy Creek Foundation, Rivanna River Company, and Rivanna Conservation Alliance.   

English Learners learn to kayak at Walnut Creek.

​During their month together, students developed new friendships and shared their personal stories.  All of their stories revealed a resilience and perseverance that was contagious.  Their joy of learning created a foundation upon which to build their future successes.  This program would not have been possible without the hard work and collaboration of a myriad of dedicated school personnel and the generosity of local partners.  We extend special thanks to all of our community partners and the school-based teams for hosting us.  The most rewarding aspect were the students' themselves, who brought their willingness to learn, take risks, work hard, and build new relationships after facing a variety of challenges to get where they are today.​

English Learners relax in the shade after hiking.

¡धन्यवाद. Gracias. شكرا. спасибо. Thank you. Merci. Asante! ​