We are pleased to announce that the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association (IFLTA) has honored two of our EL teachers for promoting and supporting Spanish culture and language for their colleagues and students. IFLTA awarded the Secondary Teacher of the Year Award to Perry Meridian High Spanish teacher Laura Holloway and the Rising Star Award to Southport High Spanish teacher Conner McNeely.
The awards were presented at the IFLTA fall conference with more than 400 language educators from Indiana and neighboring states to share innovative teaching strategies and learn about motivating and guiding students. IFLTA partnered with the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) to recognize educators for their outstanding dedication, professional contributions, evidence of continuing education, student mentorship, and influence on Spanish/Portuguese language education.
With 72 languages and 67 countries represented within Perry Township Schools, we are proud of the diversity that enriches our community. Every student deserves the opportunity to learn, thrive, and succeed. According to spring 2018’s World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) – which measures multilingual readers – 47 percent of our EL population reads at a Level 5, the most proficient level.
This growth represents a 21 percent increase over the previous year. Much of our student success can be attributed to our devoted EL Department which is comprised of 42 EL teachers, 38 tutors/translators, and seven facilitators to support students. Our schools are also committed to teaching our families about the rich diversity that surrounds us. Each spring, Southport High School hosts the Cultures of Southport, which features several students who graciously recount their immigration stories.
They also share food samples, strut in fashion shows, and give presentations representing their homelands. In fact, many other schools host their own cultural fairs that include food, dance lessons, and demonstrations that allow guests to experience a few of the distinctive delights of their beloved culture. Perry Township Schools values diversity, as well as inclusion and equity. We want everyone in our community to be active participants in making our district the best it can be because we are strengthened by the collective knowledge, experiences, interests, cultures, and traditions.
We strive to engage all of our families as partners in education through trusting relationships built on culturally responsive two-way communication and mutual respect. The EL Department is a crucial component to providing the programs, practices, and services that reflect the changing educational and cultural needs of our students and their families.