AUGUST 13, 2021 — The UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) has named Juanita Santos as executive director of the Dual Language Community Lab Schools, a partnership between the COEHD and the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD).
Senate Bill 1882 was signed into law in 2017 to create a model dual-language lab school network that will advance the preparation of teachers, principals, counselors, school psychologists and others dedicated to educating bilingual students in San Antonio.
“The dual language campuses within our community are raising student achievement. They have state-of-the-art dual language programs that are sustainable and quickly becoming a national model for other districts,” Santos said. “I hope to leverage the breadth and depth of my professional experience as a practitioner, researcher and administrator to be a strong voice and visionary for robust dual language instruction. It is an absolute honor to build upon the solid foundation UTSA has put in place to prepare clinical teacher candidates for a successful career.”
In her 28 years in education, Santos has served as a classroom teacher, as an instructional coach and as an assistant principal in Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. In addition to her varied experience in the classroom, she has worked as an administrator at several Title 1 dual language campuses. Most recently, she was principal for Rayburn Elementary School in the Harlandale Independent School District.
As part of the UTSA-SAISD partnership, COEHD faculty and students will work with teachers and students in the schools to research and identify best practices for educator preparation programs, research-based teaching and leadership practices that attend to the cultural and linguistic needs of the students, and to attain exceptional biliteracy and academic outcomes. Findings from the research will help inform policy makers, higher education and educators.
The James Bonham, Washington Irving and Mark Twain Dual Language academies comprise SAISD’s dual-language network. Drawing on the shared expertise of practitioners in the schools and researchers and teacher preparation faculty, the lab schools will serve as a site for innovation and a model for dual language programs across the nation.
The 1882 partnership is just one of the many partnerships between UTSA and San Antonio’s school districts. As an urban serving university, UTSA is dedicated to student success and creating pathways to a college education. These types of partnerships further UTSA’s goal of becoming a model Hispanic thriving university by serving the Hispanic community through strategic educational partnerships.
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