The 21st century skill of proficiency in English and one or more other languages is a goal the nation should adopt for all students. During this presentation, Dr. Laurie Olsen and Shelly Spiegel-Coleman from Californians Together present California's Campaign for Biliteracy as an example of what other states and local districts can do to value and implement multiple pathways to biliteracy. The session describes why there is a need for the campaign, how it works, and how it builds upon the development of State Seals of Biliteracy. Representatives from two districts—San Francisco and Glendale Unified School Districts—present their district-wide implementation of multiple pathways to biliteracy incorporating many diverse languages. Lastly, we look to the future and how to encourage others to begin the journey of developing initial pathways as a step to building strong, articulated, equitably accessible preschool through high school programs and learning opportunities that will prepare students with high level proficiency in two or more languages.
This webinar is a collaborative effort between four presenters. Laurie Olsen, Ph.D., Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Kelly King, Ed.D., and Christina Mei-Yue Wong offer extensive experience working with English Learners in California schools. Dr. Olsen’s career spans four decades as a researcher, writer, and provider of leadership development on educational equity with a focus on English Learners. She is currently the Director of the Sobrato Early Academic Language initiative in Redwood City and San Jose school districts. Shelly Spiegel-Coleman is the Executive Director of Californians Together, a coalition of 27 statewide professional, parent, and civil rights organizations focused on improving schooling for English learners. She recently served on Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s Transition Team and was the Senior Project Director for the Multilingual Academic Support unit for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Dr. King has served for 23 years in the Glendale Unified School District as a teacher, teacher specialist, assistant principal, principal, and director. She currently serves as an Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services where she directs all English Learner programs and the district’s seven dual immersion programs. Christina Mei-Yue is a Special Assistant to Superintendent Richard Carranza in the San Francisco Unified School District where she facilitates the implementation of the district’s Master Plan for English Learners, providing a powerful vision to effectively serve English Learners in SFUSD. Previously, Christina was the Director of Community Initiative at Chinese Affirmative Action, a civil rights organization based in San Francisco, where she worked on K–12 policy issues such as language access, multilingual programs, school integration, violence prevention, and parental engagement.