Abernethy Spanish Program 2016-2017

Registration is currently closed. Class assignment information will be sent home with students and emailed to parents during the week of September 26. Classes begin the week of October 3. Information posted here for the 2016-2017 school year is for reference.

From 1989 to 2005, the Spanish Program was an extracurricular opportunity offered to students at Edwards Elementary School. The program moved to Abernethy in 2005 when the schools were consolidated. A Spanish Board comprised of parent volunteers contracts with Spanish teachers and guides the program. It is a self-supported program; proceeds from tuition cover teacher payroll, building fees and materials. Unused funds are transferred to the Abernethy PTA general fund at the end of the school year.

1. To teach children basic Spanish vocabulary and beginning conversational Spanish skills.
2. To familiarize students with Spanish speaking cultures and encourage interest in various cultures and peoples.

To accomplish these goals, teachers will maximize childrens’ exposure to Spanish through a variety of activities including music, art, dance, movement, and more traditional academic learning activities. The Spanish Program is intended as an enrichment activity; it is not an immersion program.

The Spanish Program’s lead teachers are either native Spanish speakers or have lived and studied abroad. They integrate their knowledge of different cultures into their language instruction. Teachers will email parents once a month with updates and information about what is being covered in class. In January and May, teachers will complete a progress report for each student that will be sent to parents. If a parent has a concern, comment or question, he/she is encouraged to speak with the lead teacher first and then involve a member of the Spanish Board.

In cooperation with the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Portland State University, PSU students with backgrounds in Spanish serve as teaching assistants. They work alongside lead teachers to provide classroom support and gain experience working in an educational setting.

Students attend classes two mornings a week, from 8:00 to 8:40 a.m. on [Tuesday and Wednesday] or [Thursday and Friday]. Classes begin Tuesday, October 4 for the Tuesday-Wednesday group and Thursday, October 6 for the Thursday-Friday group. After Spanish class students go directly to their regular classrooms.

Classes follow the school calendar. There are no classes on late opening Wednesdays or any other day school is not in session. Classes end for the school year on Thursday, May 18.

The evening of Thursday, May 18 is dedicated to our Fiesta in which classes demonstrate some of what they have learned during the year to family and friends.

Yearly tuition is $225 for the first child and $185 for all siblings. You may either pay in full now, or pay half now and half later (due by January 26, 2017). Regardless of the payment option you choose, by registering your child you are signing up for the entire year.

If you wish to withdraw your child, please let us know as soon as possible as there is often a wait list. The last day to request a refund is Friday, October 21.

To be eligible for financial assistance, students must qualify for free or reduced student meals offered by Portland Public Schools. To request an application for financial assistance, send an email to

Students are expected to attend classes regularly, arrive on time and participate in class activities and assignments. Parents are responsible for making sure that their children arrive on time to the assigned classroom. The Spanish Program is only responsible for students once they are in the classroom. Visitors and volunteers are always welcome!

Students are expected to meet the behavior standards of the Spanish teachers. If an issue arises, the teacher will discuss it with the student's parent, and the teacher and parent will work quickly together towards a solution. If an issue persists and consistently disrupts the learning/progress of others in the classroom, the student may be asked to leave the program. In the event this happens, no refund will be given.

There are two ways to register and pay:
1. Online: Submit the online registration form and make your electronic payment below.
2. On paper: Complete the paper registration form included in the packet your child brings home at the start of school and turn it in with your check payment to the Abernethy Office.

Given the popularity of the Spanish program, all registrations and payments must be completed online (or registration forms and check payments turned in to the Abernethy Office) by Wednesday, September 7. If paying by check, make your check payable to "Abernethy PTA", write "Spanish" and the name(s) of the child(ren) on the memo line.

Students are grouped in classes by grade level (Kindergarten/1st grade, 2nd/3rd grade, 4th/5th grade). There are a limited number of spaces available. Students who participated in the program last year and their siblings are assigned to classes first. Students who are new to the program (and their siblings, if applicable) will be chosen by lottery to fill remaining spaces. If space is still available in the Kindergarten/1st grade classes after these assignments are made, 1st graders will be chosen by lottery first and then Kindergartners. We will notify you and refund your payment if there is not sufficient space for your child in the program.

Parents will be informed of their child’s class placement by email and by a letter sent home with your child during the week of September 26.

Contact Jenne Bilbie-Alexander at 617-909-0089 or