Professors Virginia Collier and Wayne Thomas are internationally known for their research on long-term school effectiveness for linguistically and culturally diverse students.
On Friday, January 12, the Multilingual Programs department had the opportunity to welcome Drs. Thomas and Collier to some HISD elementary campuses to view how they are implementing the Dual Language program.
Overall, both experts were very much impressed with the campuses they visited: Burnet, Coop, Durham, and Laurenzo. (Next week wait for their experience at the 50-50 DL Model campuses).
Visitors highly recognized all of the visited campuses, in specific when observing the DL practices at Coop Elementary, they commented on the strong implementation they saw of the 80-20 DL Model.
Dual Language Manager Xochitl Lege explains that “Both visitors acknowledged the consistency of systems and procedures from Coop’s PK to the 3rd grade. All instruction observed was rigorous. One of the highlights was the Writing in both languages across content areas and evidence of it at all grade levels,” she said, and added: “All around they agreed that Coop ES has a very strong dual language program!”
Collier and Thomas mentioned that the strong implementation and success of the program at Coop ES was evidence of the planning put behind the work in addition to the collaborative work of teachers.
Evelyn Martinez, Multilingual Programs Specialist who participated on this visit also commended all of the Dual Language teachers and campus administrators at Coop Elementary. “They have done an outstanding job bringing the Dual Language program to life. The support towards the Dual Language program is evident. Principal Tudón Martinez and his leadership team have been very supportive of their teachers.”
Coop Elementary’s Dual Language Coordinator and Teacher Specialist Nora Rubalcava expressed that this visit was “a great opportunity to feature our school’s 80/20 Dual Language program. Visitors were able to validate our efforts and how we implement the HISD Multilingual Dual Language Guidelines with fidelity. We felt really proud of their insight and reassurance.”
Principal Tudón Martinez attributes this success to the effort of all staff, especially teachers. “It is their hard work daily that ensures consistency across the campus, implementation of instructional practices, and collaboration. We have very dedicated teachers leading our Dual Language program. The learning opportunities that take place every day in every classroom happen as a result of their hard effectiveness.” He additionally made a special recognition for the Multilingual department: “They have provided effective professional development and guidance. Their support has been key in the process of developing our Dual Language program.”
Due to the execution of the program during instruction, the classroom environment, and consistency across the board, Drs. Collier and Thomas mentioned they might be sending other districts from across the country to observe the school. For Coop’s principal and Dual Language coordinator, “This unique opportunity will also help us to collaborate and improve the Dual Language program across the country as we share our thoughts, insights, and ideas,” they concluded.