AUHSD’s Summer Language Academy and Dual Language Immersion Program recognized with distinguished California education honor

The Anaheim Union High School District’s Summer Language Academy and Language Immersion Program were selected as two of 57 recipients of California’s leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award. The Golden Bell Awards, celebrating their 40th year, are presented by theCalifornia School Boards Association to promote excellence in public education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices. The awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs.

Anaheim Union High School District received both awards at a well-attended reception and ceremony on Dec. 5, 2019, at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. The awards ceremony was part of CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show held from Dec. 5-7 in San Diego. The conference is the premier continuing education event for California school boards and the largest education leadership conference in the state.

Below is a description of each AUHSD program:

AUHSD Dual Language Immersion: The Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program was created nearly a decade ago to increase language acquisition for Multilingual Learners, biliteracy, college, career and life preparedness. AUHSD offers our DLI program at five schools: Spanish Dual Language Academy (DLA) at Sycamore Junior High and Anaheim High School; Spanish Global Leadership and Language Academy (GLLA) at Brookhurst Junior High and Savanna High School; and Vietnamese DLI Academy at Dale Junior High and Magnolia High School. Our secondary (7th-12th grades) DLI program is the first of its kind in Orange County and among the first in California. The program serves to ensure students are biliterate (mastering grade level content in two languages), earn the Seal of Biliteracy in twelfth grade, and equips them with skills to succeed in an increasingly competitive and diverse global community. AUHSD DLI had over 1,100 students earn the Seal of Biliteracy in 2019.

AUHSD Summer Language Academy: The Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) Summer Language Academy (SLA) was created three years ago to increase language acquisition for English Learners, biliteracy, and college preparedness. The four-week academy is a culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and learning program established to meet the needs of the growing numbers of newcomers (English Learners who have been in the United States for twelve months or less) to this country speaking different languages. The academy is significant because it helps students (near 500 from 2016-2019) explore who they are and how to become part of their new communities without giving up their identity, culture and language. In its fourth summer, we have four years of data on how this award winning program has positively affected students and led to replication at other districts. Our program meets the needs of our students, families and community.

A judging panel composed of experts from school districts and county offices of education across the state reviewed written entries and made initial recommendations. On-site validators then reviewed the recommendations and assessed the programs in action. This year’s Golden Bell winners demonstrated that they are addressing student needs through areas such as equity and access, school climate and safety, technology and wellness.

“Now more than ever is a time to acknowledge and celebrate innovative and impactful programs that make a difference in the lives of our young people,” said CSBA CEO &Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “This year’s Golden Bell winners truly serve as beacons of success as we work to more fully and equitably serve all of California’s public school students.”

To learn more about the Golden Bell awards and all the winners, visit the program’s website at

This article was released by the Anaheim Union High School District.

Anaheim Union High School District receives two Golden Bell Awards from California School Boards Association celebrating outstanding education programs and governance practices. Courtesy photo.