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More than 200 RCSD Students Make an Academic Stride as English Proficient

More than 200 RCSD Students Make an Academic Stride as English Proficient

For the first time in three years, Redwood City School District (RCSD) teachers, school administrators, School Board Trustees, and Superintendent Baker were able to congratulate students in person for achieving a great milestone in their academic careers. This school year, close to 300 students achieved English proficiency and they were celebrated during the 2023 Reclassification Ceremony, which took place Monday, January 30, at Hoover Community School.

The event took place in person after two years of celebrating it in a virtual format. 

“Tonight is one of our favorite ceremonies because it is a celebration for the students, families, and teachers who have supported you, the students,” expressed Director of English Language Development (ELD) and Categorical Services Leslie Daniele as she congratulated the students and thanked parents for their supportive role. 

“Today we will be celebrating the accomplishments of students who have met all criteria to be reclassified from an English Learner to a fluent English proficient student. This means the students honored tonight read, write, speak, and understand English at a level comparable to their native English speaking peers. Some of you are able to do that in more than one language! You are multilingual!”

Challenging the students to never give up, School Board President Cecilia Márquez shared her reclassification story with them. 

“Not long ago, I was in your place. I came to this country when I was 11 and I, too, had to learn English, and get reclassified. And now, after many years, I am serving the school district and my community.”

School Board congratulates Hoover students as they walk up to receive their certificate

Reclassification is the process in which a student, who learns another language or languages at home before English, is initially classified as an English Learner (EL) and later demonstrates English language proficiency. In RCSD, students speak 37 different languages at home including Arabic, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, and Vietnamese. 

The School Board recognizes students from Roosevelt School

The multi-step process to reclassification begins with a Home Language Survey (HLS) that all families complete when first enrolling their student in a California public school.

This process helps schools and teachers provide appropriate instructional programs and services to students monitoring their progress in learning English over time and across subject areas. 

After the initial English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) assessment, students who are identified as English Learners (ELs) receive classes in English Language Development (ELD) and are assessed annually to determine their level of English proficiency. Reclassification takes place once the student demonstrates fluency in English as comparable to their native English-speaking peers and meet the criteria to be reclassified from EL to RFEP (Reclassified Fluent English Proficient.)

Proud parents watched, clapped, and took pictures as Superintendent Baker read each student name who walked across the stage with their school administrators and Board Trustees shaking their hands congratulating them.

Roosevelt students walk up the stage as the School Board congratulates them

The 2023 class included 256 reclassified students with Hoover, Kennedy, and Adelante Selby schools having the three largest classes at 59, 36, and 25 students, respectively. In 2022, 212 students were reclassified. 

The reclassified students will be monitored for four years in both English language arts and mathematics as the school district ensures that they continue to be successful.

Known for its expertise in language acquisition, RCSD also teaches Mandarin and Spanish as part of its language immersion program in addition to its English development services.

Adelante Selby students holding their certificates pictured with their principal and the School Board