BUSD Dual Immersion

  • The BUSD Dual Immersion Program began in Fall 2015 with kindergarten, and a new grade level added every year until 6th. The program is located at Kawana Springs Elementary School and follows the 90-10 model. This means that in kindergarten 90% of instruction will be in Spanish and the remaining 10% will be in English. Each year an additional 10% of the curriculum will be taught in English bringing the percentages to 50/50 by 5th grade. This model was selected as it is the most supported by research and ensures the students are getting sufficient access to the language that is less accessible in society beyond the school.

    For students to be successful in this model it is essential that they start in a dual immersion program. For this reason the BUSD dual immersion program began with Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten with a grade added per year until the program runs K-6. After grade 6 students will have the opportunity to continue in Dual Immersion through partnership programs.

    The BUSD Dual Immersion Program at Kawana ties in with the Global California 2030 initiative developed by former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. "The mission of Global California 2030 is to equip students with world language skills to better appreciate and more fully engage with the rich and diverse mixture of cultures, heritages, and languages found in California and the world, while also preparing them to succeed in the global economy." The goal is to have half of all k-12 students in California participating in programs leading to proficiency in two or more languages by 2030. In Sonoma County alone there are seven public schools offering dual immersion programs!


    ​2121 Moraga Dr.
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404-6114

Carol Castro, Principal

  • Principal Carol Castro

    I am a native Californian and have been an educator for 27 years. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, Master’s Degree in Special Education, CA Single Subject Credential, Learning Handicapped, Resource Specialist, CLAD and Administrative credentials. 

    I am Bi-lingual and Bi-cultural and excited to be working with our diverse population in our new bilingual program. I support the faculty at the BUSD: Dual Immersion Program in utilizing best teaching practices in bilingual language development, critical thinking, technology integration and collaborative learning to ensure that all students are encouraged and supported to develop and reach their academic goals. I am dedicated to maintaining a school climate and culture that fosters continuous support for both student and teacher growth. I believe the best school culture can be achieved through bicultural awareness and respect for and understanding of the backgrounds of all individuals.

Mia Peterson, Teacher

  • Mia Peterson, Teacher

    My name is Mia Peterson and I am excited to join the dual immersion program for the upcoming school year.  I have enjoyed teaching in Sonoma County for the past eighteen years.  I have experience teaching all grades pre-kindergarten through the fifth grade.

    I have a life-long interest in multiculturalism, and have experienced life as a second language learner in both Germany and Switzerland.  Later, when earning my teaching credential, I focused on language and Academic Development and earned a crosscultural (CLAD) designation. 

    As a classroom teacher, I have sought to help Spanish speaking students succeed in the educational system both through language support and my work with Spanish-speaking parents. 

    ​For the past ten years I have worked at an International Baccalaureate school with curriculum focusing on cultural diversity and global citizenship.  The sum of my teaching experience has led me to value a multicultural and multilingual experience for all students.  I believe that a dual immersion program provides the richest educational experience possible for the students.

Patricia Gomez, Teacher

  • Patricia Gomez, Teacher

    My name is Patricia Gómez and I can’t wait to be a part of the new dual immersion team! I graduated with my multiple subject teaching credential from Sonoma State University in Spring 2016. I feel honored and thrilled to begin my teaching career in a program as valuable as this one.
    I grew up in Sonoma County attending schools in Petaluma and Santa Rosa. I was even a student of Bellevue District at one point. I have worked in local public schools for 5 years. I started when I joined California Mini-Corps which is a program aimed at college students with a migrant background who are interested in teaching. I gained experience tutoring migrant students and English learners in grades K-6. I went on to graduate from Sonoma State with a degree in Liberal Studies and was accepted into their multiple subject teaching credential program the following semester.
    While completing my teaching credential, I had the amazing opportunity to student teach in another dual immersion school in Sonoma County. I taught kindergarten and fourth grade in both English and Spanish. It was through this experience that I discovered my desire to teach in dual immersion.
     I grew up speaking Spanish at home and English at school like so many of our students today. As a future teacher I thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if that separation didn’t exist? What if we could teach and learn in an environment that acknowledges and values bilingualism and biculturalism? This is why I am so excited to meet all of our new students and families. I know that together we’ll foster a love of language and a global perspective.

Laurel Duncan, Teacher

  • Laurel Duncan

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Laurel Duncan and I am from San Diego. I came to Sonoma in 2010 to get my Early Childhood Studies and Spanish degrees at Sonoma State University. I continued school to get my Multiple Subject Credential and student teach in Petaluma at a dual-immersion school. I started my teaching career in Windsor, using my Spanish to help Spanish-speaking families. This year, I started teaching in BUSD in a dual-immersion Kindergarten classroom. In my free time I love to run and exercise, bake sweets (and eat them), and play games with my friends.

    See you around!

    -Laurel Duncan

    Hola a todos,

    Mi nombre es Laurel Duncan y soy de San Diego. Vine a Sonoma en 2010 para obtener mis estudios de educación infantil y español en Sonoma State University. Continué en la escuela para obtener mi credencial de sujeto múltiple y enseñar a un alumno en Petaluma en una escuela de doble inmersión. Comencé mi carrera en Windsor, usando mi español para ayudar a las familias que hablan español. Este año, comencé a enseñar en BUSD en un aula de Kindergarten de doble inmersión. En mi tiempo libre me encanta correr y hacer ejercicio, hornear dulces (y comerlos) y jugar con mis amigos.

    ¡Nos vemos!

    -Laurel Duncan

Jennifer Duarte, Teacher

  • Jennifer Duarte, Teacher

    I am very happy to teach in the Bellevue District Dual Immersion program. I have taught grades kindergarten-8th grade and previously worked in educational roles in southern California, Guatemala, C.A., Mexico, Russia, and Chicago, Illinois during the last 18 years. I live in Santa Rosa with my husband and daughter. I feel that it is urgent that students receive positive guidance and encouragement to realize their full potential and that they can do great things regardless of the difficulties that they face.


    Estoy muy contenta enseñar en el Distrito de Bellevue en el programa de Doble Inmersión. He enseñando grados kindergarten a octavo grado y anteriormente trabajé en roles educativos en el sur de California, Guatemala, C.A., México, Rusia y Chicago, Illinois durante los últimos 18 años. Vivo en Santa Rosa con mi esposo y hija. Siento que es urgente que los estudiantes reciben una guianza positiva y estímulo para que realicen el mejor dentro de sí mismos y de la potencial que tienen que hacer grandes cosas sin importar las dificultades que se enfrenta.



Kelley Valadez, Teacher

  • Kelley Valadez, Teacher

    Saludos! My name is Kelley Valadez, and I am very pleased to be a part of the new dual-immersion program in the Bellevue district for the upcoming school year, 2016-17. I have been an educator for a decade now, having had experiences teaching in Europe, California, and Mexico. 

    I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but for the last 6.5 years called Guadalajara, Mexico home. I am very excited to be back in California with my husband and almost two-year-old son, and to get to know beautiful Sonoma County better. 

    While I was in Mexico, I worked in education in a variety of settings- teaching, administration, counseling, and as director of a language school. I am grateful for the experience I have gained working in a different culture in bilingual settings, and believe that the model for language-learning we will be implementing in the dual-immersion program yields the best results for students to become completely bilingual. 

    I have personally experienced the opportunities and rich experiences that being bilingual can bring, and am excited to be a part of this program, to see students grow effective in using two languages. I look forward to a great year!

Wuelby Soriano Castellanos, Teacher

  • Wuleby Soriano

    My name is Wuelby Soriano Castellanos. I am 27 years old. I was born and raised in Sonoma County and lived here all my life. I received my bachelor’s degree and teaching credential at Sonoma State University. This is my second year with the school district and my third year teaching. I joined BUSD in the 2017-2018 school year. I am the child of immigrant parents. My family is originally from the beautiful state of Oaxaca, Mexico. I have had the privilege of visiting Oaxaca many times in my life.

    I love teaching. I enjoy reading a variety of books, walking my dog, and watching movies. I always appreciate connecting with the school community. I am here to be a support system for the Latino Community.

    Mi nombre es Wuelby Soriano Castellanos. Tengo 27 años. Nací y crecí en el condado de Sonoma y e vivido aquí toda mi vida. Recibí mi licenciatura y mi credencial de maestro en la Universidad Estatal de Sonoma. Este es mi segundo año con el distrito escolar y mi tercer año de enseñanza. Me uní a BUSD en el año escolar 2017-2018. Soy hijo de padres inmigrantes. Mi familia viene del hermoso estado de Oaxaca, México. He tenido el privilegio de visitar Oaxaca muchas veces en mi vida.

    Me encanta enseñar. Me gusta leer una variedad de libros, pasear a mi perro y ver películas. Siempre aprecio conectarme con la comunidad escolar. Estoy aquí para apoyar la comunidad latina.