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PSJA ISD Dual Language Enrichment Program Garners Attention of State and National Education Leaders

PSJA ISD Dual Language Enrichment Program Garners Attention of State and National Education Leaders

Two-Day Visit Highlights Program Success and Draws Praise from US Department of Education, TEA Representatives  

PHARR- The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) Dual Language Enrichment Program has captured the interest of national and state educational leaders, drawing attention from representatives of the US Department of Education, Texas Education Agency, and Region ESC 14. During a two-day visit to PSJA ISD, these leaders explored the program's curriculum and observed its implementation firsthand.  

 

During their visit March 6-7, 2024, the guests heard from students, staff, toured classrooms, and experienced multicultural fine arts presentations, gaining insight into the program’s effectiveness. Assistant Deputy Secretary for Office English Language Acquisition at the US Department of Education Monteserrat Garibay expressed excitement about PSJA’s Dual Language Enrichment Program.   

“We are excited to be here visiting and learning about the best practices that PSJA has to offer, and we want to share it with the world because we know that the students here are bilingual, biliterate, and multicultural,” said Assistant Deputy Secretary for Office English Language Acquisition Monteserrat Garibay during her remarks during the visit at PSJA Memorial ECHS in Alamo. “This is something we want for our whole nation.”  

 

State and national educational leaders had the opportunity to learn about the successful implementation of the Dual Language Enrichment Program at several schools within PSJA: Liberty Middle School, Graciela Garcia Elementary, and PSJA Memorial Early College High School. The PSJA Dual Language Program is designed to enhance cognitive and academic skills by fostering on-level bilingualism and biliteracy among students.   

 

Olivia Martinez, the PSJA ISD English Language and Biliteracy Director, attributes the selection of PSJA by the Texas Education Agency for a visit from the US Department of Education to the sustainability and scale of the Dual Language Program. PSJA has been implementing this program for over 25 years, and its widespread adoption prompted educational leaders to visit and explore how the program's success could be replicated not just within Texas but across the US.  

 

In addition to representatives from the US Department of Education and the Texas Education Agency, guests included District Director Laura Matamoros from Congressman Vicente Gonzalez's office, education institutions such as the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Region One ESC community leaders. Parents, students, and many others participated in a roundtable discussion. PSJA parents also shared their testimonials on how the dual language program has positively impacted their children’s lives.  

   

“Students receive instruction in both English and Spanish from Pre-Kinder to 12th grade, enabling them to master both languages to allow them to compete in a global society,” said PSJA Superintendent Alejandro Elias. “The success of PSJA's Dual Language Enrichment Program reflects our commitment to bilingualism, biliteracy, and multiculturalism, making the district a leader in innovative education practices,”   

  

In April 2024, over 500 PSJA ISD seniors will be graduating from the PSJA Dual Language Program, each earning a Seal of Biliteracy on their diploma. Employers and education institutions recognize and validate PSJA’s Biliteracy Seal.  

  

At PSJA ISD, all Pre-K 3 through 12th grade students can be part of the PSJA Dual Language Program. PSJA ISD welcomes students anywhere in the Rio Grande Valley. To learn more or register, visit www.psjaisd.us/whypsja 

 

                         
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