County’s Inaugural District ‘Leadership in Biliteracy Award’ Goes to CVESD

The Chula Vista Elementary School District received the San Diego County Office of Education’s “Bea Gonzales Leadership in Biliteracy” award at the 15th Annual Biliteracy Symposium on Thursday, May 23.

The award recognizes the District’s leadership and commitment to the development of Dual Immersion language programs. It is the first time the award has been presented to a school district. CVESD Board of Education members, principals, teachers and parents were on hand to celebrate the honor.

Dual Immersion is a language-oriented program designed to build fluency in both Spanish and English. Native Spanish and English-speaking children have the opportunity to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in both languages.DUAL IMM-1

Currently, there are 16 schools in CVESD that offer a Dual Immersion program: Arroyo Vista Charter, Chula Vista Learning Community Charter, Clear View, Discovery Charter, EastLake, Harborside, Anne and William Hedenkamp, Heritage, Liberty, Loma Verde, Los Altos, Salt Creek, Silver Wing, Valle Lindo, Valley Vista, and Veterans. The number of Dual Immersion programs will grow to 19 in the 2013-14 school year that begins July 24.

District officials noted that the program is an increasingly popular option for parents. The program has seen explosive growth, coupled with impressive student academic achievement gains.

“The award is a testament to all the great work of teachers, parents, support staff, and administrators to ensure that all students learn, that the achievement gap is eliminated, and that 21st Century skills are being taught and implemented throughout the organization,” said Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D.

In addition to the District leadership award, two District parent educators were also honored at the symposium: Isabel Piza, and Isela Martinez.

“They have each been instrumental in increasing parent involvement and engagement in our District,” said Emma Sanchez, CVESD’s Executive Director of Language Acquisition and Development. “They have done an exemplary job in offering various parent trainings at school sites and the District office.”

Dual Immersion resource teacher Marissa Allan said that having a specialized program requires extensive Professional Development for teachers to ensure a quality, rigorous experience for students.

“We have worked with ‘Writing with Common Core,’ transference of language skills, differentiation …and the integration of technology,” she said.

The purpose of the County Office of Education’s awards program is to promote biliteracy as an educational asset and celebrate our achievements, said Monica Nava, a senior director at the County Office of Education.

“Biliteracy means a student has access to a rigorous curriculum that results in proficiency in two languages,” Nava said.

–Information courtesy of the San Diego County Office of Education

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