International Centers

SDUSD International Center

The mission of the SDUSD International Center is to provide a solid foundation in oral and written English and full access to grade-level curriculum for students who are new to English and new to the United States. This program engages students in a rigorous accelerated course of study that builds everyday, functional language and academic English as well as background knowledge across the curriculum. The primary goal of the IC is for students to obtain:

  • Intermediate level or above in English proficiency
  • Understanding of the foundations of democracy
  • Completion of a mathematics course
  • Completion of P.E. and/or a fine/practical arts elective
  • Orientation to U.S. Culture

Program Overview

The IC serves elementary and secondary students who are new to the country and score at the beginning level of English proficiency. The IC provides an accelerated course of instruction in order for students to successfully participate in Intergrated ELD grade-level classes within their neighborhood school. The instructional design stems from the fundamental belief that all of our students are capable of developing the high levels of proficiency in English that will allow them to successfully access grade-level content. This requires a rigorous, accelerated course of study that makes maximum use of time and resources. IC classrooms provide an environment for learning where high expectations are clear, differentiated levels of support help all students meet those expectations, and cultural and linguistic diversity are an integral part of the curriculum and instruction.

Our model of ELD instruction is designed around a sociocultural framework based on the core belief that learning takes place through social interaction i.e., students learn best through interaction with others. Throughout the day, students in the IC have multiple opportunities to talk and work with each other, developing skills using target vocabulary and language flexibly as they engage in authentic and meaningful tasks.

Students typically remain in the program for 2 semesters. Those who make sufficient progress may remain for only 1 semester. Students take math courses based on a math placement test, enrolling in regular math classes or SIFE Math as appropriate. Students take P.E. and/or an elective within the regular school program.

Curriculum and Instruction

The curriculum focuses on providing intensive English language development, orientation to U.S. culture and school, foundation skills and language in the core content areas

  • ELD language development and literacy

  • ELD literacy support
  • Content-based SIFE Math (elective course): Students who enter with course credit for previous grade-level math courses, or whose assessment indicates near grade-level math skills, are placed in grade-level math according to assessment results and/or prior credits.

  • P.E. and/or another elective (i.e.: music, art, band, etc)

  • Extended Day program* offers tutoring, additional ELD, field trips, career exploration, and topics of high student interest. The focus is on:
    • Increasing proficiency in English
    • Building background knowledge about the U.S./San Diego, and
    • Providing positive school experiences.

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*Availability varies by site.