Straight Talk from the Superintendent - November 3, 2022
Thoughts and Reflections
This week marked the beginning of November which is also Military Family Month and Native American Heritage Month. Both our military families, our students, and our staff members who are of Native American heritage contribute to the rich, diverse culture of our schools and community. As we honor those who have and continue to serve and protect our nation, and those whose ancestry, traditions, and contributions have deeply shaped our nation, I feel deeply connected to the importance of having robust multilingual and multicultural supports and outreach for all of our students.
CCSD’s Diverse Community
Earlier this semester, we shared the establishment of a new Office of Multilingual Services and Outreach led by Dr. Jennifer Baez who recently transitioned to this position after serving as principal of Pepperhill Elementary for the last three years. Having served school communities and the multilingual learners (MLs) in both Texas and Charleston, Dr. Baez understands the importance of engaging our multilingual students and families.
CCSD has over 5,500 students from across the world enrolled in our schools, representing 80 different spoken languages. Dr. Baez and her team of Multilingual Learner Program (MLP) Specialists and MLP Parent Advocates are already hard at work supporting our multilingual learners. These students are not only learning the English language, but also improving their English skills through studying core content areas such as science, social studies, math, and language arts.
Part of the Ecosystem
The primary goal of the Multilingual Learner Program is to provide equal educational opportunities to all students who have a primary home language other than English, and those who are identified as Multilingual Learners. The dedicated staff members who are part of the Multilingual Learner Program, and their partners in each school, are tasked with creating a learning environment that encourages students’ pride in their cultural heritage while providing academic and social-emotional support for the whole child.
Dr. Baez and the MLP team are charged with:
identifying students whose first language is not English;
assessing the language abilities of multilingual students;
providing supportive instruction that is appropriate to students’ developmental stage; and
providing professional development to administration and staff in school communities.
Part of the Multilingual Learner Program includes a large outreach effort. Our ability to communicate instructional goals and expectations with families, to encourage family participation in every child’s education, and to establish an open line of communication between the family and the school are extremely important. The team of MLP Parent Advocates has already created deep connections as part of their engagement and outreach strategies.
I am excited about the ongoing work of this office and for the integral support provided to our multilingual learners and their families. I invite you to join the Office of Multilingual Services and Outreach’s upcoming training session: Reading and Writing with English Learners:A Framework for K5 with Valentina Gonzalez, being offered on Saturday, November 12, 2022 from 8:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m. at Pinehurst Elementary. Lunch and a $110 stipend will be provided to the first 50 registrants. It will be a great learning opportunity and a great way to meet our MLP team.
The Office of Multilingual Services and Outreach, which was established to support the district’s Multilingual Learner Program, is another core component of our K-12 ecosystem and is essential to ensuring we achieve our student outcome goals for all students who enter our system and become a part of our village
Thank you for all you do in support of all of our families. I hope everyone has a great weekend!