SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Unified School District is expected to announce Monday a new, cross-border education partnership with the Mexican consulate and the Department of Education of Baja California.
The cross-border partnership between the three agencies will provide resources and support to bi-national families and students, according to district officials. The SDUSD will also identify three sister schools that will be first to participate in the cross-border programs.
The announcement coincides with El Dia del Nino, or Children’s Day, an annual holiday celebrated in Mexico on April 30 to honor and celebrate children since 1925.
“Children traditionally receive presents on the Day of the Child in Mexico, and I believe this new partnership between San Diego schools and the government of Mexico will be a gift for the children we all serve,” SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten said.
The programs will be led by the SDUSD family and community engagement team and the office of leadership and learning and will include resources including cross-border curriculum support; U.S.- Mexico teacher collaborations; new arrivals student mentorship and welcome programs; parent workshops; and cross-border instructional visits.
“We are seeing an influx of students transitioning back and forth from U.S. to Mexican schools and vice-versa, experiencing significant culture-shock that has a large impact on their education,” said M.A. Miguel Angel Mendoza Gonzalez, Baja California’s secretary of education.
The international partnership comes as the Mexican state of Baja California is welcoming large numbers of U.S.-born students, district officials said.
Over the past six months, more than 1,200 U.S.-born students between the ages of 6 and 15 have enrolled in schools in the state of Baja. The Department of Education of Baja California reports that there are 55,404 U.S.- born students receiving their education within Baja California schools.
“Diversity is one of our core strengths as a school district and a city, just as bi-national students make our schools stronger, it is our job to provide them with every opportunity to achieve educational success,” Marten said. “We live in a multi-cultural community where many of our bi-national families and students cross the border daily.”
Parent deportation, financial distress, parent work schedules, and family emergencies are some of the reasons students may be obligated to engage in a cross-border education, according to SDUSD.
“Our mission is to provide equal opportunity for students to receive an education, as well as the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare them for full participation in the world of tomorrow, no matter on which side of the border they choose to live,” Marten said. “Our school district is proud to join forces with the Mexican Consulate and the Department of Education of Baja California to ensure that our students, regardless of race or cultural background, all have the opportunity to receive a quality education.”
Marten will be joined at Monday’s news conference by Marcela Celorio, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego; Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Alliance San Diego; and Lindsay Burningham, President of the San Diego Educators Associations.