Global California 2030 is the newest initiative and call to action of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, and it’s mission “is to equip students with world language skills to better appreciate and more fully engage with the rich and diverse mixture of cultures, heritages and languages found in California and the world while also preparing them to succeed in the global economy.”

The Global California 2030 goals include 50 percent of all K-12 students participating in programs leading to proficiency in two or more languages by 2030, and by 2040, 75 percent graduating students to be proficient in two or more languages, earning them a State Seal of Biliteracy.

CUSD students are well on their way towards bilingualism and biliteracy at Canalino in the Dual Language Immersion program for K-2, and at Aliso in Designated English Language Development and Spanish Language instruction for K-1. In the past two years, 65 Carpinteria High School students earned the State Seal of Biliteracy which is a recognition conferred by the state superintendent for graduating high school students who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. One of the district’s goals is to increase the number of bilingual and biliterate graduates by implementing elementary language programs.

Dual language immersion (DLI) programs use English and the home language (Spanish) of the English learner for instruction in the classroom. Canalino is in year three of the implementation of DLI with 144 students in two kindergarten classes and two first grade and two second grade classes taught by bilingual elementary teachers. One third of the students are Spanish speakers, one third English speakers, and one third are bilingual students. Student materials are provided in Spanish for the elementary adopted curriculum in ELA, math and science. Beginning in kindergarten, 90 percent of the instruction is in Spanish and 10 percent is in English. Each year, the amount of Spanish instruction decreases as English instruction increases, reaching a 50/50 model in grades four and five.

Research studies support that DLI programs are effective ways to increase language proficiency in English and Spanish. Canalino Principal Jamie Persoon is currently collaborating with Dr. Matt Quirk of UCSB Gevirtz Graduate School of Education and SBCEO Consultant Carlos Pagan to study the “effects of three distinct educational designs on students’ language development and academic outcomes in grades K-5.” The study looks at three educational designs including a DLI program with 30 minute daily language development support for students’ secondary language, an English-immersion model with 30 minute evidence-based English language development support, and an English-immersion model with no evidence-based English language development support.

All students in the DLI classrooms are assessed in fall and spring in both languages. All English learners in grades K-5 are assessed in the same areas. In addition to language proficiency data, common grade level assessment data and CAASPP data in grade three are evaluated as well as executive functioning. This seven-year longitudinal study is funded by the Wendell and Santa Barbara Foundations, and preliminary results for the past two years indicate that in the DLI classrooms both English only and English learners grew in English proficiency and greatly increased their Spanish proficiency.

Aliso students are participating in a Foreign Language in Elementary School (FLES) model that provides Spanish language instruction to all students. Moving into the second year of the program, all kindergarten and first grade students participate in the program, many of which are beginning their second language experience. English learners who have Spanish as their primary language are provided instruction to strengthen their primary language. The students are receiving Spanish instruction by a bilingual teacher 20-30 minutes a day, four times a week. Additionally, all English learners whose primary language is something other than English receive 30 minutes per day of English language development instruction.

Diana Rigby is the superintendent of Carpinteria Unified School District. She is focused on improving teaching and learning for all CUSD students and welcomes parent and community input and feedback. For more information about CUSD, log on to cusd.net, or contact Diana at drigby@cusd.net or (805) 684-4511x222.

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