In Juntos, children study both Spanish and English in their earliest years of school, learning various subjects in both languages from day one. By the time they leave elementary school, they are fluent and literate in both English and Spanish.
Juntos launched its inaugural class in 2015 with a group of kindergarteners, and the program has grown right along with the students. The inaugural class members are now in the seventh grade at Columbia Middle School, continuing their bi-lingual studies through Juntos. The students are working toward a Seal of Biliteracy, which will appear on their high school diplomas in recognition of their mastery of two languages—an advantage for employment and college applications.
Juntos students begin their learning with a 90/10 model: 90 percent of their instruction is in Spanish and ten percent in English, with the English portion increasing year to year. By fifth grade, students are spending equal time learning in both languages.
Students consistently show that bilingualism at an early age advances critical thinking skills and can improve student achievement in all academic areas. In fact, students in Juntos outperform their monolingual counterparts at similar schools.
The Hoffman Awards were developed in honor of Glenn W. Hoffmann, who served as the superintendent of Santa Clara County schools from 1967 to 1984.
Previous Hoffmann Award winners in the Sunnyvale School District include Ellis’ Units of Study in Reading, Writing, and Phonics program in 2021, Bishop’s Leader in Me and Vargas’s Students Success through Science programs in 2020, San Miguel’s Community School Model in 2017, Fairwood Explorer’s Parent Participation and Cumberland’s project-based learning programs in 2016, Columbia Middle School’s FLEX program in 2014, and Cherry Chase’s Stretchers Art program in 1997.