On May 15th, the Columbia Middle School ELAC (English Language Advisory Committee) was thrilled to host our Reclassification Celebration event to honor a group of our students who achieved a milestone: becoming fluent in the English language. This year, over 60 Columbia students attained reclassification. These were students who started their schooling designated as English Learners and who have successfully passed the testing requirements and teacher recommendations to be reclassified by the state of California. This is a huge accomplishment, and we wanted to make their celebration event very special.
Close to 30 families (over 100 guests!) arrived to the transformed Columbia staff room where they were greeted by students handing out programs, music playing in the background, and long elegant tables decorated with flower arrangements (thanks to Lucky Supermarket for its generous donation) and congratulatory signs. We began the evening with a Mexican dinner that was sponsored in part by 6 of our ELAC parents and families who helped to plan and set up for the evening and who helped to serve our guests that night. Many made homemade foods to add to the dinner choices provided by Taqueria Latina and donated by Tia Juana’s Mexican Restaurant.
After dinner, families were treated to an inspirational message shared by our keynote speaker, Geraldo Cadenas, of the Columbia Neighborhood Center. And then, the moment everyone was waiting for, each attending student was invited to the “stage” to receive his or her certificate of achievement from principal Allmann. Students lined up across the room, proud and a little self-conscious, holding their certificates as family members clicked pictures and applauded. Congratulations again to all of our students and their families!
Article by Laurie Carlson, Instructional Coach, Columbia Middle School