Where should we live? Donde deberíamos vivir? Où devrions-nous vivre?

School systems in DC, Maryland, and Virginia offer myriad options for multi-lingual kids.


Sending their children to a dual-language school is a priority for many parents these days. Some families returning home from an ex-pat, foreign service or military assignment, are looking to keep up language skills acquired abroad.

Fortunately, school systems in DC, Maryland and Virginia offer myriad options for multi-lingual kids. Unfortunately, admissions requirements vary by districts, school boundaries, public vs. charter, lotteries and testing requirements. But we can help. We maintain an up-to-date listing of the dual language schooling options in the DMV.

The District of Columbia offers dual language education through both its DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools systems. Options include Spanish, Chinese, French and Hebrew from elementary through middle and high school. You can access these programs by living within the public school boundaries or applying via the MySchool DC Lottery.

In Maryland, your children can learn in Chinese, French and Spanish. Montgomery County Public Schools offers Spanish, French and Chinese elementary immersion programs at seven schools. Some programs are total immersion, meaning all core subjects are taught in the target language, while others are only partial immersion. Prince George’s County Public Schools offers Chinese, French and Spanish in a mix of full immersion, 50/50 and partial immersion programs. PGCPS schools are boundary schools, so while there is a lottery system for Kindergarten to enroll into dual-language programs, you often need to live “in bounds” to apply.

Virginia offers Spanish immersion in Alexandria and Arlington, while Fairfax County offers Spanish along with French, German, Japanese, and Korean. Alexandria City schools offer dual-language programs in Spanish at two elementary schools, but no immersion problems at the high school level. Kindergarteners in Arlington can enter partial Spanish immersion programs through a lottery, and continue through programs at the middle and high school levels. Fairfax County elementary and middle school programs are available through boundary-based and lottery admissions. While an increasingly popular place to live, Loudon County does not have immersion programs. It begins a world languages curriculum in middle school.

If language acquisition is a priority for your family, it can be an important factor in choosing your home.

Contact me for my complete guide to dual-language programs and admissions, and let me help you tailor your home search.