The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is teaming up with two universities in an effort to increase the number of bilingual teachers in eight local school districts. Through a new Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program, SCOE will work with California State University, Sacramento and Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, to increase the number of K–12 teachers in bilingual and multilingual settings in local districts.
SCOE will collaborate with the following districts to help train and certify teachers: Elk Grove Unified, Folsom Cordova Unified, Galt Joint Elementary, Natomas Unified, Robla, Sacramento City Unified, and San Juan Unified.
With the passage of Proposition 58, bilingual education programs are no longer restricted, allowing districts to create and expand programs with greater ease. It is anticipated that this will result in an increased demand for bilingual teachers.
With the support of a grant from the California Department of Education (CDE), SCOE has designed a regional plan to increase bilingual teacher recruitment, strengthen partnerships with school districts and institutions of higher education, and enhance professional learning opportunities for bilingual teachers.
SCOE will coordinate the project and focus on building Sacramento County’s pipeline of qualified bilingual teachers. The county office will enhance Seal of Biliteracy programs and expand recruitment efforts. The county office will develop workshops for preschool through 12th grade bilingual teachers and administrators that are focused on high-quality instruction, programs, and practices.
Through the new Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program, which will run through 2019, Sacramento State will provide three courses for 35 teachers to obtain a bilingual authorization and provide content expertise. Loyola Marymount will provide three online courses for those teachers to obtain a language certification.
Through participation in professional learning, teachers will deepen their understanding of first language and second language acquisition and content mastery. They will also learn theories specifically addressing bilingual learners, as well as strategies to support them.