All Souls World Language Catholic School – Alhambra
All Souls World Language Catholic School is an innovative and competitive educational experience that promotes global awareness through the teaching of multiple languages, a commitment to science, technology, and mathematics, and a dedication to the Catholic tradition. Families at All Souls recognize that the ability to speak more than one language considerably heightens one’s ability to learn, lead, and love. Offering immersion in either Spanish or Mandarin and English, All Souls is a leader in the world language space; however, they do not stop there. In recent years, the school community has focused on STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) initiatives, investing in interactive and experiential curricula for its students. Students at All Souls are not only bilingual and biliterate learners, but also critical thinkers and effective problem solvers.
Emphasizing math and science in a multilingual environment brings a whole new level of thinking for students. Christelle Naddaf, Assistant Principal for STREAM Education explains, “Teaching math and science in the target language [Mandarin or Spanish] encourages students to think in ways that they never thought was possible. It requires more effort, focus, and concentration, but they are flourishing.” Teachers are seeing elevated math scores and increased student engagement.
As an established Dual Language Immersion (DLI) school, All Souls has seen the benefits of molding students into global citizens. The school has also learned the value of educating parents and the greater community on what, exactly, DLI is. While students do gain proficiency in a second language, the key is that they are learning to think critically in multiple languages. As Mandy Chou, a Mandarin teacher, explains, “We aren’t teaching Chinese. We are using Chinese to teach. Our students are learning through language.” While DLI is rigorous and can be challenging at first, students have overcome these difficulties with patience, persistence, and the guidance of committed teachers.
Despite humble beginnings, All Souls has seen tremendous growth in recent years. This is due, in large part, to the proven success of the teaching model, as well as the overwhelming support and engagement of the parent body. The parents have built a community that is as much a part of the school’s fabric as the students and the teachers. Principal Carrie Fuller shares, “I have never before seen a community as invested in the success of a school. The parents are involved, invested, and generous with whatever resources they have – financial or otherwise.” Much of this commitment is attributed to the open and clear communication among teachers, school administration, students, and parents. Principal Fuller prioritizes honesty and transparency, expressing, “This is a true learning environment. As educators and leaders, we need to acknowledge when we don’t have all the answers and then commit to finding them.” There is no doubt that All Souls will continue to innovate and excel.