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CREEED Grants $150K to Expand Language Immersion Education

Representatives for the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) announced Wednesday a new grant of $150,000 to support Burnham Wood Charter Schools’ expansion efforts.

Officials say the grant will help add a new building at the Linguistic Academy of El Paso, allowing them to serve up to an additional 160 students in its innovative language immersion program.

“CREEED continues to be impressed with Burnham Wood’s superb performance on state assessments and their ability to graduate students college-ready and college-bound,” said Richard A. Castro, chairman of the CREEED board.

“This investment will not only expand the number of students served  at the Linguistic Academy, but it will also grow the amount of high-performing seats in the region that will put us closer to our goal of having 60 percent of young people attaining a post-secondary degree by the year 2030.”

As a district, Burnham Wood outperformed other El Paso-area school districts – public and charter- in the percentage of students who passed both the English and Mathematics STAAR assessments at the “Meets” standard, according to student assessment data for the 2019-2020 school year from the Texas Education Agency.

In addition, students at Da Vinci School of Sciences and the Arts, Burnham Wood’s only middle and high school, score on average 10 percent higher in the SAT than the average score for all districts in Region 19.

Through this grant, CREEED aims to continue Burnham Wood’s momentum of high academic achievement by supporting its expansion plans in El Paso.

“With this new grant from CREEED, we are able to grow the Linguistic Academy and give more students the chance to experience our robust curriculum and proven instruction methods,” said Dr. Joe Gonzales, superintendent of Burnham Wood Charter Schools. “We appreciate CREEED’s support for Burnham Wood’s expansion as well as their leadership in improving the educational landscape for all El Paso students.”

Located in El Paso’s Upper Valley, the Linguistic Academy of El Paso offers classes from Pre-K through 5th grade. In addition to the school’s dual-language curriculum that immerses students in English- and Spanish-led instruction, it offers students the opportunity to explore languages such as German, Russian, Chinese and French. Its extracurricular programs include robotics, fine arts and athletics.

“The Linguistic Academy offers a unique, multilingual curriculum that is different from the traditional model, parents and students have overwhelmingly expressed their interest in enrolling in our school,” said Linguistic Academy Principal Georgina Heras-Salas. “Thanks to CREEED’s generous grant, our new building will allow us to welcome the dozens of families off our waiting list and into our school family.”

With more than 60 families on a waitlist to enroll in the school, Burnham Wood leadership recently created an expansion plan to build a new wing on the Linguistic Academy campus. The new building will feature up to 10 new classrooms, a teacher workroom, computer lab, library and meeting rooms.

“CREEED is proud to partner with Burnham Wood on their expansion efforts, specifically at the Linguistic Academy whose multifaceted and multilingual education model prepares students for the 21st Century economy,” said Amy O’Rourke, Choose to Excel Director at CREEED.

To learn more about CREEED’s grant impact and other educational initiatives, click here to visit their website.