The atmosphere was festive at the Berkeley Adult School multi-purpose room last Wednesday evening, June 4, when students and family members gathered to celebrate English Language Learners (ELL) who’ve attained English proficiency.
The annual Reclassification Ceremony honored the 124 BUSD students who were certified as fluent this year, up from 98 students last year and 117 the year before.
The students represented a wide range of primary languages, with Spanish at the top of the list (53), followed by Arabic and French (8 each), Chinese (5 Mandarin and 2 Cantonese) and Korean (5). Three languages had 3 speakers each: Japanese, Portuguese and Russian. And several had 1 or 2 speakers.
School Board Vice President Beatriz Leyva-Cutler congratulated the bilingual students as “leaders of tomorrow.”
The event also included a special recognition and words of appreciation, along with flowers, for Jesse Montiel, Student Assessment Specialist for ELL, for her 20 years of service with the Reclassification Ceremony and her 30 years with BUSD. She plans to retire in December.
The photos below show the reclassified students who attended the ceremony to receive their Certificate of Achievement.