At its sixth annual Language Leaner Celebration, the Orange County Department of Education awarded Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) the 2018 Advocacy Leadership award for the district’s outstanding cultural and linguistic responsiveness to English learners and emerging bilingual students.
The award was presented on May 10 at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Irvine during the special event, which honored dozens of outstanding educators for exceptional language programs. GGUSD was recognized by the Orange County Department of Education for dual language programs that “foster social justice, honoring the rich linguistic and cultural landscape of the community, and working with the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) to develop a biliteracy pathway that celebrates students’ language background as assets.”
GGUSD teachers Renee Cantoran of Monroe Elementary Language Academy and Barrilyn Kaa of Irvine Intermediate School were recognized as exceptional bilingual educators who provide extensive support for their students.
Superintendent Dr. Gabriela provided the keynote speech highlighting GGUSD’s success “Navigating Emergent Bilingualism.”
“GGUSD is dedicated to providing students with opportunities to learn a new language and strengthen academic literacy in their native languages as well,” said Lan Nguyen, Board of Education vice president. “With such a diverse community, we know how important it is to build upon the various languages students bring to the classroom.”
GGUSD has proven itself to be a leader in language development and launched the Monroe Elementary Dual Language Academy, its first dual language program, in September of 2016. During the 2017-18 school year GGUSD launched the second Vietnamese dual language program in Orange County, and fourth nationwide, at Murdy Elementary School. Russell Elementary Language Academy, the district’s third dual language program and its second Spanish program, is set to open for the 2018-19 school year.
In addition to the three dual language programs, GGUSD also offers Heritage Language Programs at all secondary schools. In 2017, 632 GGUSD graduates received the Seal of Biliteracy for being proficient in two languages.