“Be the light, be of service, be the solution” - read article

Lydia Executive Director’s Message

“Be the light, be of service, be the solution”

I am Lydia Acosta Stephens, your executive director for the Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department (MMED) at L.A. Unified.

I am honored to lead our department, serving over 200,000 students, each with individual needs and unique pathways to academic success. We understand that our students require enriched language supports in every learning environment, and realize the urgency to ensure a relevant and rigorous educational program is accessible to all. The 2018 Master Plan for English Learners (ELs) and Standard English Learners (SELs) [created with the input of all stakeholders] lays out our vision to educate our culturally and linguistically diverse students. The foundation of the Master Plan for ELs and SELs are our guiding principles:

»  Assets-Based education: A mindset of knowing, valuing, and affirming students’, and families’ cultures and languages, empowering students’ voices, and cultivating a joy of learning.

»  Bilingualism and Biliteracy: Opportunities to learn language skills in two or more languages, supporting future language development, content learning, and postsecondary success.

»  Sociocultural Competence: A classroom and school culture where staff, students, and families foster positive attitudes among students’ diverse and complex cultural and linguistic identities.

»  Rigorous Academics for All: Engagement in intellectually rigorous and developmentally appropriate language learning experiences that promote academic language and achievement across the curriculum.

»  Alignment and Articulation: A coherent, articulated, and aligned set of practices and pathways across contexts, from early childhood, through reclassification, and graduation.

»  Systematic Support: Integrated professional development, sharing responsibility for educating and monitoring the progress of language learners for all educators across L.A. Unified.            
                                     
We also meet the needs of our diverse learners by looking at the whole child; an instructional approach that recognizes and personalizes the needs of our learners. By understanding and appreciating their assets, language and culture, we support teachers and students in creating learning environments that actively integrate student interests and needs at the center. The whole child approach engages and motivates students, developing life-long skills and building upon them for future success.

To realize our principles and goals, MMED offers ongoing specialized instructional programs for students and educators.

We ensure our educators at all levels across the District are prepared to meet the needs of ELs and SELs with ongoing professional learning opportunities. Face to face, online and micro-credential programs are just a few examples of how MMED respects and accommodates professional and personal diversity.

Our educational programs for students are tailored to meet the individual learning needs of our diverse English learners and all language learners on their pathway to bilingualism and biliteracy. Our educational programs reflect updated research, practice, monitoring, and resources on instructional delivery models. Programs such as Dual Language Education and World Languages are open to all.   

We continue to work together towards bilingualism and biliteracy for all by ensuring equity, access and opportunities for all students regardless of the learning environment.

At MMED, we fundamentally believe that we must all “be the light, be of service and be the solution”.