FUSD will launch dual-language immersion program at Sequoia Middle School | News

Fontana Unified School District will offer Spanish dual-language immersion (DLI) instruction at Sequoia Middle School in 2022-23, providing a continuum of learning that fosters bilingualism, biliteracy and sociocultural competency while preparing students for success in college and career.

Sequoia will be the district’s third DLI school, building on the foundational instruction provided to students in kindergarten through sixth grade at Dolores Huerta International Academy and Redwood Elementary School.

“We are beyond excited to be part of the next chapter of dual-language immersion in Fontana Unified and to provide this opportunity to our students,” Sequoia Middle School Principal Antonio Viramontes said. “This effort has been years in the making and we are thrilled to see it coming to fruition. Our students really deserve this program and we are excited to add dual-language to all the great learning experiences we have here at Sequoia.”

Students promoting from Dolores Huerta International Academy in June 2022 will be the first to receive DLI instruction at Sequoia next fall, where they will take a minimum of two courses that are conducted in Spanish.

The DLI program will serve seventh-grade students in 2022-23 and will expand to serve eighth-grade students in 2023-24. As the program develops, Sequoia aims to provide a continuum of DLI instruction to Redwood’s DLI students as well, with plans to welcome Redwood’s first DLI cohort when they promote to middle school in 2026-27.

In accordance with the district’s elementary DLI programs, Sequoia’s DLI instruction will be grounded by three primary goals: to foster high academic achievement in both English and Spanish, to help students develop high levels of biliteracy and to continue to develop students’ sociocultural competency.

“We would love to see students leave Sequoia Middle School with the skills and knowledge to take high-level courses, like Advanced Placement Spanish, during their freshman year of high school,” Director of Multilingual Programs and Services Martha Dueñas said. “This would open up a world of possibility for them in high school, providing the opportunity to earn college credit, to open up their academic schedules to a greater selection of electives or subjects, and even the ability to study additional languages. These are all avenues to help set students up for success in college and beyond.”

DLI students will also benefit from the schoolwide programs and learning opportunities at Sequoia that have earned the campus redesignation as a 2021 California School to Watch and recognition as a 2021 Microsoft Showcase School.

Such opportunities include the college-preparatory Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, for which Sequoia has been named an AVID National Demonstration School; strong digital literacy through use of the Microsoft 365 programs in the classroom; and a welcoming, positive campus culture supported by the Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) peer mentoring program and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) system, the district said in a news release.

“Fontana Unified has long had the vision to continue dual-language immersion to the secondary level as part of our larger efforts to equip students with the skills and knowledge to be successful in college, to be competitive in a changing job market and to thrive in their career of choice,” said Eduardo Gomez, the district’s administrator of multilingual programs and services. “Additionally, programs like dual-language immersion help our students to become more compassionate, collaborative and kind — all traits that help them thrive in and out of the classroom.”

For more information about the dual-language immersion program, visit the FUSD website or contact the Department of Multilingual Programs and Services at (909) 357-5000, ext. 29339.

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