Anaheim – The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) has been selected as the first county office of education to receive the Multiple Pathways to Biliteracy Recognition Award. The Californians Together award celebrates the SCCOE for leading the way to world-class language education in preschool through 12th grade. The county team led by Superintendent Jon R. Gundry will receive this award at the 42nd annual conference of the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) on March 31 in Anaheim.
“Together we hope to inspire the development of strong dual language programs, multiple opportunities and comprehensive pathways enabling all students to reach the goal of high levels of proficiency in two or more languages,” explained Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, President of Californians Together. “With the passage of Proposition 58 on the November 2016 ballot calling for opportunities for all students to become proficient in English and one or more other languages, The SCCOE leads the way for their county school districts to fulfill this mandate voted on by 73-percent of the electorate.
The SCCOE met multiple criteria to qualify including:
- Being one of the first County Offices to have a yearly formal
recognition ceremony for graduating seniors who receive the state Seal of
Biliteracy from the school districts in their county with certificates for each
- Forming a Seal of Biliteracy Consortium with many of their school districts – each signing a memorandum of understanding to help develop and implement biliteracy pathway awards from students in preschool – 8th grade.
- Holding quarterly meetings to provide support, resources and discussions with their district. Over half of the districts in their county recognize students with pathway or Seal of Biliteracy awards.
- Creating the Wall of Honor for Pathway and Biliteracy Awards as the first thing you see entering their office. The county recognizes their districts that offer these awards on this wall as a statement of the value they place on bilingualism and biliteracy.
- Developing the national initiative, My Name My Identify, to help create respect in school communities across the nation by bringing awareness to proper pronunciation of students’ names.
- Publishing web pages for the Seal of Biliteracy, My Name My Identity, Global Competency and many others resources, tools and videos all focused on the gifts and talents of their multilingual students.
- Celebrating April as the National Bilingual/Multilingual Advocacy Month, creating a public service announcement to promote this celebration, including hosting program tours, events and open houses throughout the month highlighting promising practices in Dual Language Programs, Language and Academic Success in their county, and Parent and Community Leadership. Celebrating April as the National Bilingual/Multilingual Advocacy Month, the Santa Clara County Office of Education has created a public service announcement to promote this celebration and will host program tours, events and open houses throughout the month highlighting promising practices in Dual Language Programs, Language and Academic Success in their county, and Parent and Community Leadership.
Upon hearing about this recognition, Superintendent Jon Gundry said, “There are over 60 languages spoken by students in Santa Clara County. We are very proud to have a consortium of districts and charter schools that recognizes our students’ aspiration and attainment of biliteracy. All students, regardless of their language background can succeed in learning another language and culture, and programs have the potential to help eliminate the achievement gap for traditionally undeserved students. The SCCOE is committed to diversity, educational equity, and successful programs for bilingual and multilingual learners.” A new Californians Together publication, Multiple Pathways to Biliteracy, describes multiple pathways to biliteracy, provides guidance for districts to develop comprehensive language programs, and describes award eligibility criteria.
For more information or for interviews, please contact Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Executive Director, Californians Together at 562-756-0493 or Shelly@californianstogether.org
Californians Together is a statewide coalition of 25 parent, professional and civil rights organizations committed to securing equal access to quality education for all children. Californians Together founded in 1998 as a non-profit organization after the passage of Proposition 227. Californians Together, in conjunction with many of its affiliates, strive to foster full participation in a democratic society through quality education for children and parents from underserved communities. https://www.californianstogether.org