Stafford schools focus on commitment to cultural inclusion, family engagement
Schools in Stafford County:
Stafford County Public Schools (SCPS) reinforces its commitment to global diversity and to reaching its families in their native language. The school division recently hired 10 international teachers, recognized 30 staff with the Global Literacy Seal, and will launch Spanish versions of its division-wide social media sites.
“Our county is seeing an increase in diversity, and our school division should reflect that – not only in staff representation, but also in how we connect with our families,” said Dr. Stanley B. Jones, Superintendent interim SCPS. “These steps are three of the many ways we demonstrate our intention to reach every family, every student, every time.”
Currently, SCPS staff come from China, Ghana, Colombia and Puerto Rico. This year, the division added eight international teachers from four countries, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Mexico and Ecuador, through culture exchange visas.
“This is a great opportunity to bring and share elements of their home cultures with their school communities and to return to their home country with information / context they can share about their experience in the States. United, ”said Patrick Byrnett, SCPS executive director of Human Resources. “We are thrilled with this culture sharing and look forward to growing together as a learning community. “
Diverse learning environments are beneficial for all students, and the languages spoken contribute to this diversity. The Global Seal of Biliteracy is an opportunity for bilingual people to certify their competence in a language other than English. Although there are many different tests to assess skills, SCPS uses the STAMP test. This assessment tool assesses participants based on their ability to read, write, speak and listen in the target language.
“The purpose of this opportunity is to celebrate the language skills and diversity of our staff. This certification also gives confidence in the individual’s ability to communicate with families who speak the same language, ”said Victoria Basile, SCPS World Language and Culture Facilitator. “In addition, we want our staff to share their language skills with students in order to encourage enrollment in the advanced levels of our world languages program. “
The division recognized 23 people with a Global Dual Literacy Seal in Spanish, 2 in Japanese, 2 in French, 1 in Polish, 1 in German and 1 in Arabic.
The school division has also hired a new division-wide Spanish interpreter / translator position. The person will create and maintain the Spanish SCPS social media sites for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in addition to translating all division-wide communications such as letters, flyers, graphics and newsletters. Additionally, the interpreter will attend all SCPS community events to further involve families and promote goodwill on behalf of the school division.
“Currently, we have over 3,200 parents and guardians who have chosen Spanish as the preferred language of communication at home,” said Dr Jones. “Providing them with information about their students in a highly consumable way will help strengthen the teacher-family relationship, which ultimately benefits the student and remains our most important goal. “