These middle school students proudly accepted their English Language reclassification certificates in front of family and friends on March 13 at the Live Oak Unified School District Reclassification Celebration.

Some students may complain that math or history are like a foreign language, but in the case of many Live Oak students, they actually are. To these students, English is a second language and that can be a barrier to their education.

But on March 13, over 60 students from the Live Oak Unified School District were able to celebrate their hard work and determination to learn English. The 2012- 2013 Reclassification Celebration held at Live Oak High School was celebration of conquering the English language and taking down that barrier.

Meschelle Righero is the Special Programs Director for the LOUSD and was the speaker at the event.

This celebration is given every year to honor students who have worked to be granted reclassification into the mainstream education program by successfully learning to read, write and speak English. To be reclassified, these students had to pass a verbal California English Language Development test as well as read and write English to pass a state standard test.

Students with little to no English comprehension are placed in the Accelerated Language Program upon arrival at LOUSD. This program helps students learn the basics of the English language.  Students who have made great progress in learning English, but who still need specialized English language development in the area of grammar are moved to the Transitional English Language Program. Students in these programs intensely study reading, writing and speaking the English language in addition to all other subjects appropriate at each grade level. When students have been recommended by their English Language Development teacher and passed their tests, they become reclassified.

Righero explained that the goal at LOUSD is to help 25% of the students in Live Oak to be reclassified each year.  She also said it takes about 4 years for each student to accomplish reclassification. Many of these student’s parents speak little to no English themselves.

For the rest of this story please pick up a 3/20/13 edition of The Gridley Herald.