During the first meeting of the Culver City Unified School District School Board for the new school year on Tuesday night, the Board voted unanimously in favor of an agreement between CCUSD and Advocates for Language Learning El Marino (ALLEM).
The motion by School Board Vice President Kathy Paspalis, approves the agreement, which was designed to "continue and formalize the practice of using adjuncts to provide language services at El Marino Language School."
El Marino Language School is a K-5 elementary school, which is solely dedicated to language immersion in Spanish or Japanese. The program - the first of its kind in a public school system in the United States - has existed since 1971 (Spanish) and 1991 (Japanese).
Since 1987, the parent-run organization ALLEM has raised funds to employ “adjuncts.” Adjuncts are native Spanish or Japanese speakers who foster language acquisition by providing support services and modeling the target language in the classroom.
The agreement was prompted by a on the El Marino adjunct program by the Culver City Association of Classified Employees during the second half of the 2011-2012 school year. After by the District’s legal team and urged on by ALLEM and members of the community, it was determined that the adjuncts are not District employees; thus CCUSD cannot bargain on their behalf.
Following this determination, ALLEM and the District sought a , which recognizes that adjuncts are beneficial to the El Marino students, and it formalizes the unique quarter-century practice of using adjuncts to provide language services.
Speaking at Tuesday night's meeting, ALLEM president Gina Marie Walker thanked the Board and the District for their collaboration.
“I feel it protects the best interest of the students," she said.
Speaking about the new school year, she continued, "We’re all very rested and energized and ready to start fund-raising for our adjuncts.”