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Flowers of Achievement: RCSD Celebrates 185 Reclassified Students with Special Gesture

Flowers of Achievement: RCSD Celebrates 185 Reclassified Students with Special Gesture


In a heartfelt ceremony filled with pride and joy, the Redwood City School District (RCSD) community celebrated a significant achievement on Thursday, February 16, 2024, as 185 students were reclassified as Fluent English Proficient during the annual Reclassification Ceremony held at Hoover Community School.

The event marked a special milestone not only for the students, but also for the entire RCSD community.

“Tonight we come together to celebrate the achievements of our students. We not only celebrate academic success, but also acknowledge the rich tapestry of languages and cultures that make our school community in Redwood City so vibrant,” said Katherine Rivera, director of multilingual English learners and categorical programs, who oversees the reclassification process.

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 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.)

While addressing the students, RCSD Superintendent Dr. John Baker emphasized the importance of multilingualism, stating, “Being able to speak more than one language is very special and opens doors to many opportunities.”

As part of this year’s ceremony, each reclassified student was presented with a flower, symbolizing their growth and achievement. They were then encouraged to give this flower to someone who had made a notable impact on their academic journey, fostering a culture of gratitude and appreciation within the RCSD community.

Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion School students hold their flowers and certificates after walking across the stage

Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion School students hold their flowers and certificates after walking across the stage


Parents, teachers, school administrators, and School Board Trustees gathered to applaud the students as they walked across the stage, shaking hands with pride and excitement.

Trustees David Weekly and Alisa MacAvoy congratulate a Roosevelt parent who accepted the certificate on behalf of her son who

Trustees David Weekly and Alisa MacAvoy congratulate a Roosevelt parent who accepted the certificate on behalf of her son who was on the Yosemite trip with his classmates

 

Superintendent Baker commended the students for their hard work and perseverance, expressing the collective pride of the community in their accomplishments.

Moving forward, the reclassified students will continue to be supported by RCSD as they embark on their academic endeavors. With a commitment to excellence, RCSD ensures that all students receive the resources and support needed to thrive during their remaining time with RCSD, in high school, and beyond.

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.