Welcome to the Multilingual Programs Department blog. We hope you will find this interactive communication forum beneficial to you and your ELL students!
It is the mission of the District’s Multilingual Programs to strengthen the social and economic foundations of the community by assuring that District students achieve their full academic potential and by providing opportunities for all students to graduate as proficient in multiple languages. Limited English Proficient (LEP) children also shall learn to read, write, and speak English as rapidly as individually possible.
When we teach, we have to keep all four of these pieces in mind. We must begin with compliance because it’s the law. Based on the law, HISD has developed models to support instruction. This is in the form of our different programs: Transitional Bilingual program and the Dual Language program. Our programming serves as the basis for instruction, which ultimately lead to results, which is the data piece of the puzzle. While each of these pieces is important in their own right, we must remember that they are all threaded together and cannot work independently of each other. However, today’s focus is on instruction.
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro
As the bilingual program models start to come together in HISD for the sake of our more than 62,000 English language learners, I am most appreciative for the efforts of several departments and individuals who have contributed to the alignment of instructional services offered to our students. Though at times it appears to be moving in slow motion, I am confident that the interdepartmental collaboration has laid a sound foundation for lasting systems and processes.
The expansion of the Dual Language program is a result of much planning and discussion by members of the Curriculum, Multilingual Programs, Elementary School Office, and Teacher Support and Development departments. This journey has proven that the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts. Each individual in this collaboration has brought with himself or herself unique knowledge. When everyone came together, all of that knowledge and unique characteristics added up together and became something greater. I am confident that our students will benefit as more of them will not only graduate, but they will do so as bilingual individuals.
Our Transitional bilingual program has also experienced some alignment. More data-driven decisions are now being made across campuses, with the academic and linguistic progress of our students as the ultimate goal. Recent modifications to the program exit criteria for students who use linguistic accommodations are leading to assessment decisions commensurate to language proficiency and academic history. The structures needed to support these processes are also a result of team work. The Assessment, Chancery, Federal and State Compliance, Leadership Development, and Research departments have collaborated with Multilingual Programs throughout the year to ensure that campuses are supported and district systems are in place to facilitate the full transition of participating students to a mainstream curriculum.
I assure all stakeholders that the educational services provided to ELLs in our district are a focal point across departments and that major initiatives are taking into consideration possible impact to this special population of students. Though individually, we may be a drop, together we can be the ocean that is needed to bring ELL best educational practices and systems to shore.
Thank you for your support,
Dr. Gracie Guerrero
Assistant Superintendent for Multilingual Programs