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July 2015

National Biliteracy Education Program Names Montebello Unified’s Alicia Ramos Teacher of the Year

The Association of Two-Way & Dual Language Education (ATDLE) has named Alicia Ramos, a fifth-grade teacher at La Merced Elementary School, its 2015 Teacher of the Year. With 20 years of teaching experience as a bilingual and two-way bilingual immersion teacher, Ramos is considered an outstanding educator dedicated to ensuring that her students and families are firmly on the path toward reaching biliteracy goals.

Ramos was presented the Teacher of the Year award at ATDLE’s 23rd annual National Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Conference on June 29 in Palm Springs.

“I believe that through these second-language opportunities, with the development of self-awareness and cultural understanding, students will be able to stay connected to their families and aspire to complete their advanced schooling as they engage in today’s global society,” Ramos said.

In addition to teaching for the past 17 years in her MUSD dual-language classroom, Ramos helped organize parents and supporters, working with the District to assist in the adoption of an ethnic studies high school graduation requirement. As a result, dual-language high school students will have continued access to quality language courses, but will also be able to begin to study related culture and history.

Montebello Unified Expands Full-Day TK, Full-Day Kindergarten to All Elementary Schools

Montebello Unified is rolling out its full-day transitional kindergarten (TK) and full-day kindergarten program at all District elementary schools starting in 2015-16, with the goal of closing the achievement gap. All TK and kindergarteners will now experience as many hours in the classroom as their peers in first- through fifth-grade. Enrollment is now available.

The Board of Education recently voted to offer full-day classes in both TK and kindergarten from 11 to all 17 schools in order to expose students to more instructional minutes that will translate to greater reading and mathematical gains over the long-term.

Studies illustrate that young learners are ready for more instructional minutes and are at a pivotal age to develop academic, social and emotional skills essential to boosting academic achievement.

Moreover, full-day TK and full-day kindergarten ensures that District teachers have more time to adequately identify and address any learning challenges – which closes the achievement gap by increasing the odds of success, and saving resources and time in the long run.

“It is our goal to effectively prepare students for their academic and personal success – something that must be fostered early and often,” Superintendent of Education Susanna Contreras Smith said. “Extending TK and kindergarten in this way works to build the foundation that gives our young students the opportunity to be ready for the more structured learning environments of first grade and beyond.”

The District is working collaboratively to ensure teachers and staff have access to requisite assistance and resources while reducing class size, hiring more teachers and to providing support for art, music and physical education instruction so students continue to have robust learning opportunities.

Families are encouraged to sign-up their students at each school site. For more information, please contact (323) 887.7900 Ext. 2502 or 2795.