Purpose:

  • Learn about and review Dual Language Program components and the issues affecting the development of K-12 dual language programs.
  • Confirm the concept and recommend a model for possible implementation of Dual Language Program(s) in Bellingham Public Schools beginning no sooner than the 2023-24 school year.
  • Identify projected program design at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
  • Develop a timeline that includes initial plans for dual language program professional development, curriculum and materials, and program evaluation plan.
  • Present a draft of the Dual Language “Master Plan” to the Superintendent for review and consideration of next steps.

Basis for Establishment:

  • Dual language programs offer asset-based education that builds strong home-school connections, and they advance identity development by honoring the language of multilingual students’ family/community.
  • Research indicates that dual language programs serve to close achievement gaps for English Learners more effectively than other program models.
  • The Washington State Superintendent has established a vision for serving multilingual learners through two-way dual language programs, beginning in kindergarten and extending through 12th grade available to all Washington State multilingual learners by 2030.
  • As a result of the Early Learning and K-12 Dual Language Law (1445 S.SL. c 236), Washington State offers competitive grants to school districts who are developing dual language programs.  Bellingham Public Schools received one of these two-year grants for $200,000 to support this work.

Decision-Making Process:

  • Recommendations will be made based on research, discussion and input gathered during the process.
  • Task Force will utilize processes of consensus and input/feedback. We will engage in clear communication among team members and with stake holders regarding the work.
  • The work will be consultative with the Department of Teaching and Learning.
  • The group will be a recommending body to the superintendent.

Plan of Work:

  • 2021: Issue call for applications
  • November 2021: Form the Dual Language Task Force
  • December 2021-March 2022: Task Force meets to build background knowledge regarding Dual Language Program components through reading, research, and site visits to dual language programs in other districts.
  • April-May 2022: The Task Force will propose a recommended dual language program model and complete a draft of the “dual language master plan” document.
  • June 2022—The Task Force will review and submit the master plan draft to the superintendent and will work on details of the year-two Dual Language Task Force timeline for 2022-23.

Members:

  • Isabel Meaker, Executive Director of Family Engagement, co-chair
  • Amy Carder, Director of Teaching and Learning (Multilingual Learners), co-chair
  • Dual Language Program Consultants from Education Impact Exchange
  • Mike Copland, Deputy Superintendent
  • Tom Gresham, Director of Teaching and Learning (Title I, Early Childhood, Student Services)
  • Analisa Ficklin, Assistant Director of Special Education
  • Dana Smith, Communications Manager
  • Nick Hayes, Principal, Happy Valley Elementary School
  • Allison Chryst, Vice Principal, Shuksan Middle School
  • Nicole Talley, Principal, Birchwood Elementary School
  • Nelly Schonborn, Multilingual Learner Specialist
  • Angelica Garcia, Multilingual Learner Specialist
  • Rachel Grogan, Multilingual Learner Specialist
  • Rey Ramos, K-12 Math TOSA
  • Meira Lifson, Teacher, Cordata Elementary
  • Luz Lopez, Teacher, Alderwood Elementary
  • Mandeep Kaur, ML Paraeducator
  • Esmeralda Ortiz, ML Paraeducator, Shuksan Middle School
  • Laura Nunez, Paraeducator, Squalicum High School
  • Mariangely Gonzalez, Administrative Assistant, Birchwood Elementary School
  • 6-7 Parents/guardians of multilingual learners
  • Students (Preferable High School Teacher Academy Participants)
  • BEA President or Designee
  • Community Partners
    • Director Bilingual Teacher Community Routes, Western Washington University
    • Opportunity Council Early Childhood Representative

(School Board Member, ex officio)

Responsibilities:

  • Attend all Task Force meetings and engage in reflective conversations
  • Participate in educational activities and readings
  • Gather and share feedback from stakeholder groups
  • Interact collaboratively and respectfully with all task force members.
  • Commitment to participate in at least one dual language school site visit day trip. Likely locations include: Skagit Valley, Bellevue, Highline, Kent or Evergreen School District.

Timeline:

Meetings will be held every other month on Thursday afternoons from 4 to 5:30 p.m., December 2021 through June 2022.  Members will have the opportunity to continue serving on the Dual Language Task Force during the second year of planning in 2022-23.

  • Thursday Dec. 9, 2021 4:00-5:30
  • Thursday Feb. 10, 2022 4:00-5:30
  • Thursday April 21, 2022 4:00-5:30
  • Thursday June 9, 2022 4:00-5:30

Budget Implications:

All anticipated budget expenses for professional learning, travel, materials, substitutes, etc. will be covered through the state dual language grant.

Other: 

In addition to representation on the task force, relevant groups will be targeted to solicit input and provide feedback.