Award Year: 2022

Sonia Sotomayor Elementary School

1510 S. Lake Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD, 57105-1557

(605) 367-4655

Dr. Tracy Vik, Principal at time of Nomination

Sioux Falls School District

School Website

School FaceBook


To develop lifelong, multi-lingual learners with the cultural background and problem-solving skills to succeed in an ever-changing world.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 2%
  • White: 81%
  • Hispanic: 14%
  • Two or more races: 3%
Momentos llenos de diversion y aprendizaje!

Momentos llenos de diversion y aprendizaje!

The journey to bilingualism and biliteracy starts on the first day of kindergarten at Sioux Falls School District's Sonia Sotomayor Elementary. Since 2008, the Spanish Immersion Program has been teaching native English-speaking students a second language by immersing them in a classroom with a Spanish-speaking teacher. Students read, write, and speak Spanish as they go through daily lessons. The same curriculum taught in traditional English classrooms is delivered entirely in Spanish at Sonia Sotomayor.

Sonia Sotomayor Elementary provides students a clear path with a focus on the three pillars of high-quality dual-language programs. Students use the target language to acquire an understanding of academic content, as opposed to the study of the language itself. Time in the target language is sacred, and classroom teachers instruct and interact with students strictly in Spanish, allowing students to acquire both grade-level content and Spanish language development.

Strong Professional Learning Communities and collective teacher efficacy drive instruction and achievement. This, paired with an overt focus on school culture from the perspective of the student which includes a strong sense of belonging, servant leadership, and personal development, create a school-wide learning community where children thrive.

In short, Sonia Sotomayor Elementary has built family, community, and district partnerships to support all students. We achieve a high level of academic success and we educate socio-cultural competent bilingual learners to become leaders in our ever-changing world. #OnePack