Research says: Don't delay language learning! Children are naturally wired to acquire languages! Learning another language opens up new neuronal networks in the brain! In CCUSD, students begin that journey in kindergarten and can continue through high school with study in a 2nd and even a 3rd language. CCUSD offers several programming options in languages, including Spanish Immersion K-8, a continuation pathway through 12th grade, Chinese Immersion at K-2 (rolling up 1 grade every year) and French Immersion at K-1 (rolling up 1 grade every year). We also offer Exploratory Spanish, French & Chinese K-6 and at the secondary schools, offer daily core classes in Spanish, French and Chinese in grades 7-12 (including AP/IB).

Please contact me, Cristina Ladas, World Language Coordinator for CCUSD programs at 480-518-4289 with ANY questions! 


Read the Research!

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences publication: "America's Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century"

The New American Economy publication: "Lost in Translation: The Growing Importance of Foreign Language Skills in the U.S. Job Market"

The ACTFL Advocacy Campaign's LEAD WITH LANGUAGES website

Here's one of the many ways that CCUSD prepares students for the world...

With our sister school partnerships from around the world, our students make REAL connections with their peers from different countries (China, Spain, France, and Mexico). The video below shares the visit 2016-17 highlights from our middle and high school sister schools in Yichang, China. We will be returning the favor with our first visit there in June 2018. Click here to sign up!

AZ Seal of Biliteracy

CCUSD will participate in the 2017 AZ Seal of Biliteracy Program. The AZ Seal of Biliteracy Program recognizes high school students who acieve proficiency in English plus at least one additional language. The seal is placed on the student's diploma and noted on the transcript. Click HERE to go to the AZ Department of Education webpage for more information about participation requirements, approved assessments and criteria. This is open to any public or charter school district in AZ that registers to particiapte.

CCUSD Seal of Biliteracy

Cavve Creek District recognizes a higher, more rigorous Seal of Biliteracy. To attain this district seal, Cactus Shadows High School students must meet the following criteria:

  • Spanish and French students must score I5 across all areas of ACTFL's Assessment of Performance Towards Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL).
  • Mandarin Chinese students must score I4 or higher on the Interpersonal Listening & Speaking (ILS) and Listening (IL) components and I3 or higher on the Reading (IR) and Writing (PW) components of the AAPPL.
  • For students that take the Spanish, French or Chinese Advanced Placement (AP) exam prior to senior year, a 4 or higher will result in the CCUSD Seal of Biliteracy.
  • All students sseking the CCUSD Seal of Biliteracy must be enrolled in World Language classes for all four years of high school.


Where are the Language Programs in CCUSD?

Black Mountain Elementary School

World Spanish

Desert Sun Academy
World Spanish

French Immersion

Desert Willow Elementary School
Spanish Immersion/World Spanish

Horseshoe Trails Elementary School
Chinese Immersion/World Mandarin Chinese

Lone Mountain Elementary School
World Mandarin Chinese

Sonoran Trails Middle School (daily core class)
Spanish Immersion, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese

Cactus Shadows High School (elective class)
Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese

Want to know which languages are most used in the business world? Check out Bloomburg Rankings

Why Should Your Child Learn Another Language?

In the News!

CCUSD's Chinese Immersion Program at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School has been added to the national directory of Chinese Early Language & Immersion Programs (CELIN) at the Asia Society. Thanks to our partnership with ASU Confucius Institute, CCUSD has four schools with Confucius Classroom status (LMES, HTES, STMS & CSHS)!

In the News!


Cave Creek was a key school district in helping pass the AZ Seal of Biliteracy!


Click HERE for an article about the Seal of Biliteracy SB1239's run through the Senate and the House. It has passed in both and was signed into law May 12, 2016. State board rule was closed on October 24, 2016.            

Click HERE for an article highlighting 41 seniors that graduated from Cactus Shadows High School with the Seal of Biliteracy. CSHS is the first high school in AZ to offer this recognition to its graduating class for May 2015.


In the News!

Former DWES Spanish Immersion Students Address the AZ Senate

Our own two students that started the immersion program at DWES in first grade had the opportunity to speak to the Education Committee of the Senate about their experience. Currently in 10th grade at our feeder Cactus Shadows HS, they shared that learning another language has not only made them fluent in Spanish, it has made them global citizens... more aware of things beyond our borders. Their career goals show that with Dominique wanting to work for the United Nations and Treyece interested in using his bilingual skills in the field of medicine. Neither has parents or anyone at home that speak Spanish. Needless to say, we are just so PROUD of our kiddos as they are helping change language education in AZ and will change the world!

In the News!

Innovating AZ Classrooms!

In the News!

Watch Know99's News Story for the Desert Willow Spanish Immersion Program

Thanks to Know99 for a great story. Know99 is the youth & education COX cable channel for Phoenix, supporting learners of all ages.


 We are so grateful for our Guest Teachers from China and Spain!    

Here's a peek into their classrooms 2014-15 school year.


Our guest and new language teachers bring 21st century skills to our students... in another language! 

The "State of Spanish Immersion Address" Screencast

For anyone interested in learning about how students in the Pk-8 grade Spanish Immersion program are evaluated. This 5 minute sscreencase covers the content highlights of the April 10, 2013 parent informational meeting at DWES.

CCUSD World Language and Immersion Videos
The State of K-8 WL Programs                                         I CAN Statements K-6
The Spanish Immersion Program (intro)                             Immersion: The PK-8th Grade Path to Proficiency

K-6 World Language Screencast

For students, teachers and parents

Watch a 3.5 minute webinar (below) introducing the national proficiency levels used to measure second language learning while sharing the CCUSD "CAN DO" approach.

   Two Must-See Videos

1) How can a world class education impact the future of the United States?

Click here to watch this powerful 1 minute video... 

2) Are We Prepared for the Jobs of the FUTURE (from a language perspective?) 

Click here for the 3 minute video...

For more details on the CCUSD World Lanuage and Spanish Immersion K-12 Pathways, download the following attachments. With our K-12 articulated programs, students can start earning high school credit in middle school and can easily reach AP/IB levels at Cactus Shadows or start learning a 3rd language before graduation.

Cave Creek Unified School District: 

 World Language Teachers and Language Specialists

Thanks to a supportive Governing Board, Cave Creek Unified School District's World Language Programs are articulated from K-12 grades. CCUSD is the first district in the state of Arizona that has recognized the importance of making World Language courses daily, core classes.  This forward-thinking, visionary decision puts CCUSD students in a position to be competitive with students across the world.

Presently, most countries across the globe require students to learn a second and even third language as they progress through the educational system.  Not only does this requirement support the brain research that proves a second language develops critical thinking skills, but also gives our students a competitive edge as they transition to high-school, college/the military/the workforce, and citizenship in a global society.

(below) 2013-14 Guest Educators from China and Spain being introduced and welcomed at a CCUSD School Board Meeting.

2012-13 World Language Teachers at a CCUSD School Board Meeting.

(below) 2012-13 Guest Educators from China being introduced and welcomed at a CCUSD School Board Meeting.

You have to love INFOGRAPHICS!

Via: Voxy Blog


21st Century Skills include a focus on communication.  Communication in a global society is dependent on students learning at a minimum a second language.  Children who develop a propensity for speaking a second language effectively wire their brains to learn and can adapt to many different languages. 

SchoolCenter Picture


How being bilingual can boost your brain power:  NPR Article

Why it's smart to be bilingual: Newsweek Article