When we empower and equip teachers to deliver high-quality education to English Learners/Dual Language Learners (ELs/DLLs), we transform classrooms for students, uplift and center their families, and raise the bar in schools and school districts. Last month, we shared how our case studies series captured the powerful stories, lifting up the experiences of teachers and communities doing the hard and transformational work of educational equity, unpacking the influence and impact SEAL is having on their teaching and students.
The Redwood City School District (RCSD) Case Study is a retrospective that brings to life the approach to SEAL implementation across a district prior to the onset of the pandemic as well as during. This case study highlights examples and outcomes from one RCSD elementary school and the district’s early childhood program. Among the outcomes cited are students’ high fluency in English and Spanish, increased parent participation, and richer curricula and instruction.
“SEAL represents best practices in education. The strategies we’re learning here can be applicable to students of all ages, even for college students. Good teaching is good teaching is good teaching. SEAL is good teaching.”
– Edna Carmona, Director Of Child Development, RCSD
SEAL will share findings of the case study this afternoon at The Education Trust –West’s Education Equity Forum 2022, during our session titled, The Importance of Professional Learning for Early Care Educators that Centers the Needs of DLLs, where we will highlight SEAL’s professional development work with early childhood educators across the state and share specific examples from our RCSD case study to illustrate what professional learning looks like when the needs of DLLs are placed at the center.
For a synopsis of how SEAL was implemented in three California school districts, read Overview: The SEAL Model and Its Implementation Across Three Exemplar Districts. The overview also describes the SEAL model, including its origin story, central design principles, staffing, professional development structure, and highlights from its pilot and expansion efforts. Our third case study on Mountain View School District will be released in October. Stay tuned!
Sharing our journey with RCSD is also a special opportunity to celebrate the heritage, languages, traditions and contributions of Hispanics/Latinx to our nation during Hispanic Heritage Month. RCSD serves a diverse student body with a majority of students identifying as Hispanic/Latinx (68%) and with a majority of English Learners who speak Spanish (97%). Building family partnerships is a critical aspect of SEAL’s work, and RCSD’s implementation of our strategies created a vehicle to incorporate students’ cultural backgrounds into the curriculum and increase the relevance of what students learn. I know you’ll enjoy reading how our students shared their knowledge with family members in Gallery Walks, one of the cornerstones of the SEAL model. We are honored to partner with a diverse community of educators, advocates and influencers who help create language rich-environments and celebrate the rich diversity students and their families bring to the classroom.
When all cultures and languages are affirmed, the cultural capital that students enter the classroom with becomes the foundation of empowering, engaging and joyful learning. These case studies build upon the positive evidence of the SEAL model to transform education systems to be more equitable and just for ELs/DLLs in Redwood City School District and beyond.
Dr. Anya Hurwitz