The event was well attended by HUSD Board members
Vic Scavarda (President), Patrick Searl (Member), Horacio Valenzuela (Member); Superintendent Dr. Edwin Gomez, Riverside County Office of Education; Mayor Malcolm Lilienthal, City of Hemet; Hemet/San Jacinto Chamber Board of Directors and Executive Director, Cyndi Lemke; Hemet Unified families and staff; and other members of the community. It included a welcome reception, a few words from HUSD Superintendent, Dr. Christi Barrett, HDLA Principal, Kristi Watson, as well as group tours of classrooms and school grounds.
The benefits of dual language schools are that they offer students a rigorous curriculum in both English and Spanish, a strong connection to cultural diversity, improved communication skills, and the chance to develop proficiency and biliteracy in two languages. The program integrates native English speakers and native Spanish speakers for academic content instruction through both languages using a 90/10 model. Together, students learn from each other, and use each other as language and culture resources.
“HUSD recognizes the importance of being multilingual and how it can provide an increased level of academic achievement for students enrolled in the program long-term, in addition to improved cultural awareness and appreciation of our diverse community. We are proud to offer this wonderful opportunity to HUSD students”, shared Dr. Barrett.
The school is currently a K-5 school but each year will expand to include, 6th grade, 7th grade and 8th grade. Students need to enroll in kindergarten or already be bilingual in order to attend HDLA. Enrollment for the school is based on a lottery system and interest lists open in early December. To learn more about Hemet Dual Language Academy, visit their website at https://hemetdla.hemetusd.org/ .