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Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness: The Eagle Warrior Way April 2, 2013

Posted by latinoschoolleaders in Cultural Relevance.
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Marisol Rerucha, Director, MAAC Community Charter School

As educators it is essential that we recognize and respect each student’s culture and their linguistic strengths while at the same time exposing them to the importance and beauty of all cultures. MAAC Community Charter School (MCCS) was created by MAAC, a private non-profit agency, with the intention of providing 9-12th grade students an extended opportunity to earn their high school diploma. The school is seven miles from the US/Mexico international border and seven miles from downtown San Diego.

Our school mascot is the Eagle Warrior. Eagles in North America represent power, beauty, intelligence, patience and discipline. A Warrior is someone who doesn’t think of themselves first, but of others, and is committed to the empowerment of their people. In the Aztec culture, an Eagle Warrior doesn’t just represent the elite class. Rather, it can represent be anyone from any class who has shown special ability.

At MCCS we make it possible for all students, regardless of their ethnicity, or language of strength, to embrace the Eagle Warrior within and explore and act using their P.O.W.E.R (Potential, Ownership, Wisdom, Expectations, and Respect).

In order to re-engage students, who would otherwise not complete their high school diploma, MCCS uses every opportunity for students to find, define, refine and articulate their voice. This is accomplished through multiple opportunities to develop leadership skills. Every teacher implements the cycle of praxis, based on Critical Pedagogy, which begins with students developing skills through standards-based learning. Students and teachers identify a community issue or problem to research. They then create a plan of action, implement action, and evaluate the entire process. Most teachers collaborate with one another to bridge learning across the content areas. At the end of each session our students showcase their work.

MAAC1

Earth Science and Math Showcase collaboration: San Diego/Tijuana scale model showing the international
effects of maquiladores in Tijuana, B.C.
(Above and below)

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MCCS Leadership Camp, February 2013

“Every other session, during the spring and during the fall we have a leadership camp…to learn about different cultures, races, and to learn about the power of our voice and how to make ourselves heard so we can make a positive impact in our society. We put our differences aside so we join together as a family to make change.” –Alejandra Hernandez, MCCS Senior

“As the counselor, I speak to students, and parents in groups, as well as individually, to help them understand the educational system, graduation requirements, steps to get into college, how to apply for financial aid and receive scholarships. It is important for parents and students to understand the differences in the education system they came from when transferring from Mexico or another District. Thanks to NCLR, “Padres Comprometidos,”has really helped to shape this understanding since we cover a variety of topics where parents share their backgrounds, experiences concerns and hopes.” –Mary Soto, MCCS Academic Counselor

Ms. Soto addressing students and parents at our annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner

Ms. Soto addressing students and parents at our annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner (above and below)

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It is by the intentional inclusion of student culture and voice in every aspect of our school, that we have been able to secure a brighter future for our students by their completion of a high school diploma. With the changing face of our nation, it is important that all educators and schools understand and include our student’s culture and voice.

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Comments»

1. varelajose - April 4, 2013

Great Job Marisol.


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