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Project GLAD

Project GLAD

One of the core components of the program at Short School will be the full implementation of Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design).

Project GLAD promotes an educational setting that produces effective, literate students. It is a model of respect for diversity not only in language and ethnicity, but, also, in thinking, learning, and personal experiences. It provides support for teachers and students alike to face change and success effectively and confidently.


• In 1991, Project GLAD was declared Exemplary by the California Department of Education.

• In 1991, Project GLAD was declared a Project of Academic Excellence by the US Department of Education.

• Project GLAD was chosen as a national dissemination model of effective training for teachers in multilingual settings.

• GLAD - trained schools have won Title I Achieving Schools Awards.

• GLAD is recognized as a California School Reform Design Model Program.

Project GLAD began in Southern California over 20 years ago.  Marcia Brechtel and her teaching partner, Linnea Haley, were challenged with multilingual classrooms filled with students from many different backgrounds.  The curriculum provided for these students wasn't providing students with the academic language they needed for success.  The GLAD model was created to fulfill the immediate need to teach students grade level academic content in a comprehensible way.

As part of the commitment of San Rafael City Schools to train and support teachers in the implementation of the GLAD instructional strategies model, we have trained all K-5 teachers, and offer annual training for teachers new to the District and advanced training for our current teaching staff. 

In summary, the following features make the Guided Language Acquisition Design promote successful, involved teachers and students:

• A unique blend of academic language and literacy that marries the research from many fields and organizes the strategies and classroom implications into a process.

• The model is not only firmly rooted in research, but it has been field tested both in district and out for the past 16 years. It has been found useful as a trainer of teachers and as a trainer of trainers.

• A classroom environment that values the student, provides authentic opportunities for use of academic language, maintains highest standards and expectations for all students, and fosters voice and identity.

• Students who will benefit from primary language support can benefit from trained bilingual teachers, trained support staff, trained parent volunteers, or cross-age/peer tutors.  The unique aspect is that with this model both languages complement each other through integrated themes.

• The amount of oral language for negotiation for meaning and cross-cultural interaction is extensive.

• The training model is successful because it values teacher’s time, viewpoints, and expertise of the teachers, as well as promoting collaboration and peer coaching.