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Boston Public Schools Welcomes New Assistant Superintendent for Office of English Learners
New administrator will lead the district in meeting the needs of English learners
On Monday, November 2, Dr. Silvia Romero-Johnson joined Boston Public Schools (BPS) as the new Assistant Superintendent for the Office of English Learners (OEL).
Dr. Romero-Johnson comes to BPS from the Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wis., where she has been Executive Director of the district’s Office of Multilingual and Global Education since 2013. She has years of valuable experience as a public school principal, a math teacher for both middle and high school students, and a professor. She is also the co-author of the book Advancing Equity in Dual Language Programs, which will be published in December 2020 by Velazquez Press.
"I am so excited to welcome Dr. Romero-Johnson to the BPS team to lead this work to better meet the needs of our English learners as we advance equitable outcomes for all BPS students,” said BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius. “A priority of the BPS strategic plan is to eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps by implementing the LOOK Act to strengthen and expand bilingual options available to BPS students, serve our students with native language supports, and provide more training to current bilingual educators. I look forward to working with Dr. Romero-Johnson and our broader stakeholder community to develop a comprehensive plan of action for our multilingual learners.”
Partnering with Chief Academic Officer Andrea Zayas and the OEL team, Dr. Romero-Johnson will oversee the implementation of exciting programmatic changes that will improve learning for English Learners in every BPS classroom.
Nearly 15,000 or almost 30% of BPS students are English Learners, including about 3,500 who are English Learner students with disabilities. The primary goal of the Office of English Learners is to ensure these students have equitable access to high quality instruction and support in their school communities, including access to native language and the explicit teaching of English language acquisition. The OEL team strives to help all English Learners graduate with the 21st century skills they will need to succeed in college, career, and life.
"It is my honor to join the Boston Public Schools to lead the Office of English Learners. Throughout my career I have maintained a sharp focus on addressing the needs of historically marginalized, multilingual communities, and bring with me many years of experience in the field of English Learning and Bilingual/Multilingual Learning,” said Dr. Romero-Johnson. “I look forward to being part of this transformative work to ensure equitable access to learning opportunities, high quality instruction and robust support services for our students learning English.”
Dr. Romero-Johnson joins BPS at an important time, as the school district works to further develop new bilingual programs under the state’s Language Opportunity for Our Kids Act, also known as the LOOK Act. Passed in 2017, this legislation allows for English Learners to develop to their maximum potential through access to native language in a multilingual, multicultural school system instead of an English-only model. The new Assistant Superintendent of the Office of English Learners will be responsible for leading compliance with these critically important mandates to ensure equity for our English Learners.