September 15th is the first day of Latina/o/é/x and Hispanic Heritage Month! Celebrating Latina/o/é/x and Hispanic Heritage Month is not just about recognizing the past; it's also about embracing the present diversity and promoting inclusivity within our school community. We sat down with Noemi Simons, Bilingual Program Manager for Distinctive Schools, to learn more about how Bilingual Education reaches beyond traditional coursework.
“We want our students to develop their English language, to be able to thrive in their new environment, and connect with their peers. But we also want to make sure we are fostering their culture, their native language, and their families,” Noemi shared.
When English Language Learners join our learning communities, we are ready to support them in their unique educational journey through our comprehensive Bilingual education program. In collaboration with the Academic Team and our Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) teachers, Noemi works to ensure all students have equitable access to high-quality instruction. CLD teachers are bilingual educators who provide support to students through instruction in Spanish. They work with students at all grade levels, joining students in class to provide language support and teach English language skills to small groups throughout the day.
As part of our Community Hub model, we seek to engage our families and our community fully in our students’ education. It’s important to us to also send family communication in both English and Spanish.
Language is a beautiful part of each student’s individual identity, and one way we choose to celebrate the diversity of our Distinctive Schools communities. Throughout the year, and especially this month, we uplift Latina/o/x/é and Hispanic trailblazers, and honor the historical milestones Latina/o/x/é and Hispanic people.
Get Involved this Latina/o/x/é and Hispanic Heritage Month:
There are many cultural institutions dedicated to celebrating, uplifting and commemorating the accomplishments, stories and lives of Latina/o/x/é and Hispanic people, including right here in Chicago! The National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen is a fantastic place to visit to learn more and celebrate Latina/o/x/é and Hispanic Heritage. There are also online exhibits that showcase the history and culture of Latina/o/x/é and Hispanic people and communities. Click here to find an institution near you.