Two Palatine Township Elementary District 15 bilingual educators have been recognized by a state association for their achievements.
Christian Martinez, a Transitional Program of Instruction aide at Willow Bend School in Rolling Meadows, is the Illinois Association of Multilingual/Multicultural Educa-tion’s Bilingual Program Assistant of the Year.
Guadalupe Schoffstall, an eighth-grade bilingual teacher at Winston Campus in Palatine, received a plaque of recognition from the association. She was one of four finalists for Illinois Educator of the Year Award.
The awards come as District 15 prepares to update its bilingual education program.
“As always, the goal is to have our students speak and write in standard English as effectively as possible,” said Superintendent John G. Conyers.
To do that, the district plans to expand the curriculum to meet all students’ skill levels and to teach English grammar and vocabulary in the context of school subject areas, said Kay Woelfel, the assistant superintendent for instructional services.
About 13 percent of District 15’s more than 12,000 students have limited English skills, and they speak dozens of languages.
District 15 last reviewed its program for students with limited English skills in 1992, before a national standard was approved in 1996, Woelfel said.
“It really is time,” Woelfel said.
Now the district will look at new programs and practices that Woelfel believes hold great promise for District 15 students.
The new curriculum will be aligned with state, national and international standards, Woelfel said.
Staff members, parents and others will begin reviewing the curriculum and new programs this spring. The district should be ready to begin pilot programs for the new curriculum next fall, Woelfel said.