The number of non-English-proficient students in Celina ISD has increased about 208% from the 2020-21 school year to the 2023-24 school year.

Emergent Bilingual Coordinator Vanessa Hurtado-Jaramillo presented a bilingual program update to the board of trustees Oct. 16.

“We’re seeing quite a bit of growth really quickly,” she said.

The background

The district’s bilingual program is called the dual language one-way program, Hurtado-Jaramillo said. Students are classified as non-English-proficient and are learning Spanish and English at the same time, she said. Prekindergarten through first grade students have reading and language, science, and social studies taught in Spanish, while math is taught in English.

Language arts and reading instruction taught in English is introduced in the second grade. At that point, she said classes are taught in 50% English and 50% Spanish.

English as a second language program, also known as ESL, is meant to make academic content accessible to English learners, according to the Texas Education Agency.

The program model includes ESL Pull Out, for students who are pulled from class at set times to learn under a certified ESL teacher. In the lower levels of the elementary school, Hurtado-Jaramillo said the ESL content program is used as all of the teachers for core content are ESL certified.

Diving in deeper

In the 2020-21 school year, 243 students were classified as emergent bilingual, according to district data. This has grown to 750 students at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year—an over 208% increase.

The percentage of students classified as emergent bilingual across the district has grown from 6.4% in the 2020-21 school year to 16.2% in the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, according to district data.

“There’s a lot of growth throughout the years,” Hurtado-Jaramillo said.
The district only had around six different languages about five years ago, Hurtado-Jaramillo said. As of the 2022-23 school year, 34 different languages are present in the district, according to district data. These languages include Mandarin, Hindi, Korean and French, among others.