Sherman Academy in San Diego, CA, has recently implemented a dual language immersion program. Children receive half of their instruction in English, and half in Spanish. Key to Sherman’s philosophy is the goal of creating bilingual and biliterate students, and Sherman’s principal and staff work hard to make sure that parents are invested in this mission. The school has seen promising outcomes over the four years since the program has been implemented, moving aggregated student performance from 127 points below the state average to a mere 13 points below.
Involving the parents of EL students in STEM fields can be challenging, as the complex language of these fields may pose difficulties for students and parents alike. Parents need tools to help their children make meaningful connections to the math and science curricula of the school, and schools need to examine approaches to parental involvement that are linguistically appropriate and culturally relevant.