BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified’s Walnut Elementary School will receive a 2016 Seal of Excellence Award from the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), a recognition of the school’s exceptional dual-language program, Soaring to Success.
Spanish dual-language immersion programs teach a combination of English and Spanish speakers to be bilingual and bi-literate by instructing them in each of the two languages, often starting almost entirely in Spanish and ending with an equal division.
Walnut Elementary launched its program in 1997, and is cited frequently as a model by other districts. The school will receive its award March 25 during CABE 2016, the bilingual education association’s annual conference held in San Francisco.
“We are tremendously proud of this achievement by Walnut Elementary School’s team of educators. It is a well-deserved accolade for their dedication to giving our students the tools they need to excel in all their future endeavors,” Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza said.
The CABE award highlights Walnut’s rigorous instructional practices, high student achievement in English and Spanish, multicultural development and strong sense of community.
“I am so proud of the Walnut School community. It is such an honor to be one of three schools in the State of California to be acknowledged by CABE,” Walnut Principal Dr. Christine Heinrichs said.
Research shows dual-language immersion students not only learn the targeted language, but also gain significant understanding of cultures associated with the language, show overall cognitive advances and earn stronger grades in school.
Students at Walnut achieved a three-year average Academic Performance Index of 833. The overall score at the roughly 600-student campus mirrors those achieved by its English learners, who make up about 40 percent of the population, and socio-economically disadvantaged students, who constitute about 85 percent of the enrollment.
Baldwin Park offers the popular immersion program at several other elementary schools, middle schools and Baldwin Park High School. In 2016-17, it will expand to include Sierra Vista High School.
BPUSD_SEAL_1: Kindergarteners at Baldwin Park Unified’s Walnut Elementary School perform a dance as part of the school’s award-winning Spanish-English dual-language immersion program. Walnut won a 2016 Seal of Excellence from the California Association for Bilingual Education.
BPUSD_SEAL_2: Dual-language immersion students at Baldwin Park Unified’s Walnut Elementary School hold up flowers for their parents during a spring cultural enrichment activity celebrating families. Walnut won a 2016 Seal of Excellence from the California Association for Bilingual Education.