Greetings and Calling for Donations

By PUSD Parents Group

As a community group, PUSD Parents Group (PPG) depends 100% on support from parent volunteers.  There are many ways you can support us without any monetary gifts, but we also accept monetary donations to support our operations and community events.  If you would like to donate to PPG, visit http://pusdparents.org/donations/ .  Thank you for your generosity in supporting our community.

Safe and Creative Personalized Education (III)

Helping Kids Learn with Cultural Innovation

By Mr. John Riley

Valley Elementary offers Poway Unified School District’s only elementary school Dual Language Spanish Immersion program.  This program follows research-based instructional models and is designed to promote bilingualism and biliteracy both for students whose primary language is English as well as those whose primary language is Spanish.  As a magnet school Valley Elementary attracts families whose parents who want a specialized educational curriculum for their child.

This concept of schools offering unique areas of specialization empowers parents and improves education.  School becomes laboratories of innovation providing educational best practices that benefit the entire school district.  Parents are equally empowered by having options of schools from which to select that will engage their child and position them for success.

Through the opportunity to meet with Angelica Barragan, Valley Elementary School’s Coordinator of Dual Language and English Learner Programs, her following statements explain the components and rational of the program. 

PPG: What was the rational for starting the Spanish Language Immersion Program?

Ms. Barragan: At the time our Dual Language Program started, we were evaluating our bilingual program and all the other alternative programs available. We read research and discovered that a 90:10 Dual Language Program was more productive in English acquisition and retaining the student’s Native Language than our transitional bilingual program we currently had.

PPG:  Did the district or Valley Elementary have any specific objectives?

Ms. Barragan: Our #1 objective is and has been English acquisition for our English Learners. As a secondary objective, our English dominant students were acquiring Spanish.

PPG: Does this program require a special bucket of funding?

Ms. Barragan: Yes. To start off a Dual Language Program, foundational funding is needed. Most of the primary funding went toward personnel (coordinator), curriculum and supplemental materials and professional development.  Initial funding came from a FLAP (Foreign Language Assistance Program) grant.

PPG: Has this been successful in attracting new students to Valley outside of their school’s geographic boundary?

Ms. Barragan: Yes. We currently draw from 24 of the 26 elementary schools in PUSD.

Valley Elementary educational innovation deserves recognition in our community and is one of many reasons why PUSD is one of the top districts in our region.

About the author

Mr. John Riley is father of one PUSD student and one PUSD graduate.  He is a former candidate for the PUSD Board of Education in 2014.  Among his many community activities, he is a member of Kiwanis, serves on PUSD’s Budget Review Advisory Committee and tutors at Valley Elementary School. 

Next issue

Safe and Creative Personalized Education (IV): Improving PUSD School Libraries

PUSD Parents Group (PPG) is a fast emerging citizen group that seriously loves our Poway Unified School District (PUSD) and our community. We welcome all PUSD stakeholders within our community. Our mission is to strengthen the voice of our community. Our efforts are aimed at those who make change happen: PUSD parents, students, teachers and taxpayers. We highly value fiscal responsibility, accountability, transparency and all things that will demonstrate PUSD honesty and reliable communication with the community. 

www.pusdparents.org