Eighth Graders Pave Pathway to Biliteracy
CUSD Schools encourage proficiency in multiple languages
While fluency in more than one language has always been an admirable skill, biliteracy is increasingly important to employers in the U.S. and around the world. This year, 87 Campbell Union School District (CUSD) eighth graders (13%) earned the Middle School Pathway Award Towards the Seal of Biliteracy awarded by the Santa Clara County Seal of Biliteracy Consortium. It is a milestone toward earning the State Seal of Biliteracy at the end of high school and a skill that brings many benefits.
“We are so proud of our student’s accomplishments through the Pathway program. This is one of the ways that we honor the rich heritage of our students linguistically, culturally and ethnically,” said District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “In fact, several of our students received the award for proficiency in three languages.”
“Research shows that being bilingual and biliterate fosters mental dexterity, builds cultural appreciation, and validates the rich cultural backgrounds of our students,” said Denise Kilpatrick, CUSD’s Coordinator of English Language Development. “The students undergo a rigorous process of learning and demonstrating their competency.”
The Pathway Award recognizes students who, by the end of 8th grade, have demonstrated a commitment to becoming biliterate, reaching a high degree of proficiency in both English and at least one another language, and meeting a rigorous set of criteria to qualify. Oral presentations about the benefits of understanding other cultures were one of the performance options that some of the students chose.
Francisco, pictured above delivering his Pathway to Biliteracy presentation, is among Sherman Oaks School’s first class of eighth graders advancing to high school since it became a TK-8 school in 2019.