Fairmeadows Elementary School teachers recently accomplished something that hasn’t been done by any other school in 26 years. All nine dual language teachers received exemplary status through the Gómez and Gómez Dual Language Enrichment Model.
The Gómez and Gómez program is being used in 10 states across the country and by 99 school districts in Texas and is overseen by cofounder Dr. Richard Gómez. This enrichment program ensures students obtain a high level of academic achievement in both English and Spanish.
On their website, Gómez and Gómez Dual Language Consultants explain why students learn more when English is taught this way: ‘It may seem counterintuitive to some, but research has shown again and again that the fastest, most efficient method of learning academic English is through a strong education in the native language.’
Since 2016 when Duncanville ISD began using the dual language approach at all elementary schools, Dr. Gómez has visited the district each year to assess whether educators are successfully implementing the dual language framework. He evaluates whether teachers are following the dual language lesson plan cycle, students are regularly writing in their required journals and if the classrooms implement all the environmental and instructional components to help students achieve academic success. Dr. Gómez said this year’s perfect score at Fairmeadows Elementary School is the first in his company’s history.
Erica Reyes, Duncanville ISD’s Director of Language Acquisition & Early Childhood, said there’s a reason teachers at Fairmeadows Elementary School have been successful.
“I think a huge part of it is leadership, and the buy-in and principal Sugey Villarreal’s accountability for teachers,” Ms. Reyes said.
The goal of the Gómez and Gómez program is for students to become successful bilingual, biliterate and bicultural members of society. Duncanville ISD currently offers the program in Pre-K through fourth grade with plans to expand to fifth grade next school year.
The following teachers received exemplar ratings in 2020 - 2021:
Suelma Lira, Pre-K
Brenda Cardenas, Pre –K
Adam Conant, Kindergarten
Laura Vargas, Kindergarten
Erasto Barrera, first grade
Noe Vargas, second grade
Veronica Leyva, second grade
Israel Guerra, third grade
Linda Pacheco, fourth grade