Pat, Personally

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

CCSD educators learn about bilingual education

As the Clark County School District (CCSD) continues to grow, so does our demographic. After several years of growth, we’ve not only become the fifth largest school district in the nation, but we are also among the most diverse.

We are a majority minority school district with a student population that speaks 83 different languages. Our English Language Learner (ELL) students make up one-fourth of our student population. In fact, at Helen Jydstrup Elementary, the students speak a total of 37 languages!  Last week at the 44th Annual National Association of Bilingual Educators (NABE) Conference held at Bally’s Hotel and Casino, CCSD was able to learn more about how we can better help those students learn English while still encouraging them not to lose their first language.

Not only did many of our educators and teachers participate in this conference, several of them were pivotal to the success of the conference.  Christina Oronoz, assistant principal at Chaparral High School, served as Chair of the Conference and Perla Carbajal from our English Language Program chaired the Volunteer Committee, both committees were served by CCSD employees who all volunteered their time and worked several hours after school to help make this a reality. Assistant Principal at Nevada Learning Academy, Tracy Viscosi also chaired the Events Committee.

Dr. Nancy Alamo, also from our English Language Learner Program, chaired the Parent Institute Committee which invited several of our community parents to learn about how to be more engaged with their child’s school and also to provide feedback to educators.  Members from our Community and Government Relations Department also assisted in organizing this important component of the conference.

Several of our schools volunteered to provide tours to conference members so they can learn from the various programs we have to teach English Language Learners. It was a good opportunity to show off the amazing work of our teachers and staff and also highlight our successful ZOOM Schools that focus on schools with high ELL percentages that have made great strides so far.

It makes me so proud that so many of our employees stepped up to the plate to help organize this conference and that so many of our teachers that attended are continuing to look for ways to develop professionally to better serve our students.

I look forward to seeing how our teachers incorporate what they’ve learned at the NABE conference in their classrooms and among their colleagues.

To all those who helped and attended, muchas gracias, merci, obrigado, salamat, xièxie and thank you!