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Santa Clara Unified: Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program is Expanding

Santa Clara Unified is expanding their Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program. They assigned members to the Budget Advisory Committee.

The Board of Trustees got to see their Spanish Dual Language Immersion program in action at their meeting on Thursday, March 28. Students, some as young as 6 years old, came to flaunt their Spanish and English skills and share their love for the beloved program.

 

Spanish Dual Language Immersion (DLI)

The Spanish Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program at Scott Lane Elementary has been teaching students to speak, read, and write in both Spanish and English since the 2020 – 2021 school year. The oldest students in this program are now in fourth grade but they are asking to continue this program beyond their years at Scott Lane. The program isn’t only getting more popular at SCUSD but also in other districts as well. The dream is to have a TK – 12 program that gets students to be bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural, said Scott Lane Elementary School Principal Claudia Corpus.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” said Corpus. “If you get an opportunity to come to tour our classrooms and see what our students are doing, I think you would fall in love with it and know that we are truly giving our students a gift and they deserve it.”

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Over a dozen Scott Lane students and their parents came to the Board meeting to speak highly of the DLI program. Many of the young students, some too small to see over the podium, shared their experiences in both English and Spanish. The students listed what they love about the program including continuing to learn their native languages, being able to communicate with their relatives, and having more career opportunities. Selena Moraila, a second grader who wants to be a Spanish teacher, hopes the program continues not just for her but also for her mom, Jessica, who didn’t have a program like this when she was young.

“Thank you for allowing me to have the gift of two languages,” said Riley, a second grader who wants to be a veterinarian.

Buchser Middle School Principal Justin Ponzio and Corpus have the beginnings of a plan to expand the DLI program to Buchser in the 2025-2026 school year. The middle school program could consist of Spanish language arts, Spanish social studies, English language arts, English mathematics, and Spanish science.

Expanding DLI is still in the early stages, but Superintendent Dr. Gary Waddell says they will create a planning committee that will come back to the Board with recommendations.

 

2024 Budget Advisory Committee

At their last meeting, staff got the ball rolling on a new Budget Advisory Committee. This week, they ironed out some details. The committee will “bring District partners together to gain insight and to provide input into the District’s budget process.”

They also updated the scope of the committee: “The meetings will include information and education regarding the District’s budget process, analysis of programmatic revenues and expenditures, and information regarding various factors impacting the budget as well as discussions about the priorities and values to be considered in the budgeting process.”

The Board decided that Board Members Andy Ratermann and Dr. Michele Ryan will be on the Board and Board Member Jodi Muirhead will be an alternate.

 

Other Business

The Board approved the use of facilities Group 1.5 organizations for the period of June 1, 2024 through May 31, 2025. This is also the start of the new fees they approved in January.

They passed resolutions making April 23 School Bus Driver Day as well as making the month of April Public Schools Month, School Library Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month, and National Volunteer Month.

The revised job description for the Coordinator of Arts and Instructional Resources was approved. They also passed the 2023-2024 Tentative Agreement between the SCUSD and United Teachers of Santa Clara (UTSC), AB 1200 UTSC Financial Disclosure, and 2023-2024 Certificated Salary Schedules. Next, they approved the 2023-2024 Certificated and Classified Management Salary Schedules and the increase to employer contribution for health and welfare benefits with AB 1200 Financial Disclosure. Lastly, they approved the revised Classified Hourly (Unrepresented) Salary Schedule, effective January 1, 2024

The Santa Clara Unified Board meets next on Thursday, April 11. Meetings are live-streamed on the District’s YouTube page, and agendas are posted on their website.

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