The 2017 Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE) annual state conference was held this year in McAllen and La Joya ISD was proud to be a big part of this Texas-size event.

With TABE participants visiting our Clinton Elementary campus, our parents joining the conference, and our students performing for guests, La Joya ISD hopes all of the visitors had a great stay in our region as we continue to build bridges and unite cultures through trainings that are grounded on the latest research in bilingual education.

On October 18th thru the 20th, La Joya ISD teachers, staff, parents, and students participated in the TABE celebration, marking the 45th year continuous research, training and advocacy for the bilingual education across the state. Held at the McAllen Convention Center, the conference gave participants the opportunity to showcase awareness on English Language learners’ expectations and the best practices through our very own, La Joya ISD ESL specialists’ presentations.

Conference days were filled with enlightening and encouraging sessions, nationally distinguished speakers’ presentations, and a quality bilingual and bicultural educational study describing the importance of our Spanish history and culture. Excellent Keynote speakers shared their positive experiences, such as Cheryl Urow (Teaching for Bi literacy), Jose Hernandez (Engineer and former NASA Astronaut), Angela Valenzuela (Professor, University of Texas at Austin), Gilberto Soto (Bilingual Music Educator) and John Seidlitz (Seidlitz Education). All were great presenters who taught and inspired their audiences with their vast knowledge and involvement on bilingual education.

On the first day of the conference, TABE invited La Joya ISD to host a school visits to William Clinton Elementary, as an example of the outstanding implementation of the One-Way Dual Language Enrichment Program.

“During the visit, participants from different parts of the state experienced the hospitality of our district through presentations provided by William Clinton Elementary’s principal Mr. Martín Muñóz as well as the campus Dual Language Committee Representatives Ms. Jasmin Garcia and Ms. Sara Sanchez,” stated Irma Zuniga, LJISD Director of Bilingual /ESL Education.   “After the presentation, attendees visited classrooms from Pk-5th grade to observe the implementation of the One-Way Dual Language Enrichment Program first hand, observed the performance of the campus’ folklorico group and were delighted by the poems written by two dual language program participants in English and in Spanish.”

Construyendo Puentes y Uniendo Culturas (Building bridges and uniting cultures) was this year’s conference theme and LJISD fine arts students in mariachi, folklorico, conjunto and dance teams, served as entertainment for the hundreds in attendance.

The purpose of TABE is to exchange data, studies, ideas, practices and information that focuses on improving bilingual education, in research and teaching practices. It was an exciting and positive opportunity for La Joya ISD to be part of this year’s conference, while at the same time enhance our knowledge about the latest research based teaching activities available.

Thank you to the Texas Association for Bilingual Education for inviting our district to be a part of the event and for promoting the best research based practices that benefit all bilingual students.