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SAN JOSE, CA – On Wednesday, September 2, 2020, the Santa Clara County Board of Education unanimously approved and signed a resolution acknowledging September as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Every year, since 1968, from September 15 to October 15, our country has celebrated Hispanic culture and contributions to our community and nation. Historically, the Santa Clara County Board of Education has unanimously passed the previous resolutions highlighting each year’s theme and the contributions that Hispanic Americans are making within the county, state, and nation. The 2020 theme for National Hispanic Heritage Month: Hispanics: Be Proud of Your Past and Embrace Your Future, brings focus to the essential contributions made by the Hispanic Americans ‐ those who have ancestors who come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America − in all aspects of the formation of our country.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to share the historical contributions of Hispanic Americans that have significantly impacted education. Pioneers such as Roberto Alvarez whose groundbreaking case Roberto Álvarez v Lemon Grove School District (CA, 1931) was the first successful school desegregation case in American history. The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) also celebrates the contributions of Hispanic Americans who serve our communities and schools every day such as civil rights trail blazers Cesar Chavez and Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta, Eva Blanco Masias who was recently named the Vice President of Santa Clara University, and local community hero, Marisa Rosales Gaska, who has rallied the Silicon Valley community together to rise to the challenge of providing face coverings for healthcare workers both locally and throughout the state in the midst of the PPE shortage due to COVID‐19.
In Santa Clara County, Hispanic/Latinx students makeup 38.3‐percent of the student population and represent the largest racial/ethnic group among the state’s child population. The Santa Clara County Board of Education and the County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, remain committed to uplifting student equity and honoring the diversity within the county.
Within the County of Santa Clara there are programs to assist Hispanic Americans such as the New Americans Fellowship ‐ a leadership pipeline for DACA recipients living, working, or going to school in Santa Clara County; the East San Jose PEACE (Prevention Efforts Advance Community Equity) Partnership ‐ a community initiative aimed at building a healthy, peaceful, and empowered community free of violence and trauma; School Linked Services ‐ a partnership between Santa Clara County and schools to bridge supports and services such as health and wellbeing; and, the Universal Access Pilot (UAP) ‐ a collaboration of FIRST 5, County of Santa Clara agencies, Santa Clara County Office of Education, Alum Rock Unified School District, Franklin McKinley School District, and other nonprofit partners committed to cross‐system coordination and integration in service to family navigation that is culturally‐responsive and applies a whole child, whole family approach to supports. The SCCOE has fostered strong partnerships in the community, including partnering with Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) Eastside Alliance to promote and provide training for culturally relevant math instruction leading to increased math scores for Hispanic/Latino children and the aforementioned Universal Access Pilot; Other partnerships include the Hispanic Education Foundation of Silicon Valley, which provides support to students and families through programs such as Latinos in technology, STEM, parent engagement, and leadership development.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to acknowledge and continue to celebrate the legacy of our rich Hispanic heritage and traditions,” said Santa Clara County Board of Education President, Claudia Rossi. “Hearing stories and learning about heroic efforts and the important and unique contributions from Hispanic culture can provide all students throughout our county with a multi-faceted perspective in their learning which can further their academic experience.”
The SCCOE in its continued effort to honor National Hispanic Heritage Month and to enhance equity and diversity, remains dedicated to providing resources and programming for Spanish speaking communities; offers translation services and training for teachers, schools, and school districts; continues recruitment efforts to attract diverse educators into the teaching profession; promotes multilingual education through our Multilingual Education Services and involvement with the California Association of Bilingual Education (CABE), and continues to support safe schools and resources for undocumented students.
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About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.