ALAS Webinar Highlights Language Initiatives at Irving ISD & Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

April 13, 2022 webinar focuses on leading a language-centered district

The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) is hosting a free webinar at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on April 13, 2022 highlighting how the Irving Independent School District in Texas and the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) have prioritized bilingual dual language education.

The webinar, “Culture Shift: Leading a Language Centered District” features guest speakers Blanca De La Sierra, executive director of teaching and learning for Irving ISD, and Jacqueline Rodriguez, director of ESOL/Migrant Programs at KCKPS. The webinar is open to the public. To register, visit

“More than 5 million students in the United States are English Language Learners, and as that number continues to grow it’s critical that we embrace best practices as we teach English, and also recognize and celebrate their bilingualism,” said ALAS Executive Director Dr. Maria Armstrong. “Irving ISD and Kansas City Public Schools are both great examples of innovative, forward-thinking districts that have prioritized bilingual dual language education initiatives and made language one of their strongest assets.”

About the speakers:

The session is led by Blanca De La Sierra in partnership with Imagine Learning. De La Sierra is a former teacher, interventionist, coach, principal, director of BIL/ESL, and currently serves as the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning for Irving ISD. She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is currently a doctoral student focused on School Improvement at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Jacqueline Rodriguez serves the multilingual community in KCKPS as the director of ESOL/Migrant Programs. She dedicates her time to integrating language learning into classrooms to provide inclusion and equity for all students. She was previously a Spanish teacher and director of the Blue Valley Chinese STARTALK Immersion Academy summer program; she has presented on multiple topics, including how language learning promotes students’ inclusion and increases skills for a global society. She also encourages requiting, retaining, and supporting teachers of color. She leads with the belief that all students have a voice and deserve teachers who look like them or have shared experiences.

The webinar is one of several events ALAS hosts. It also hosts a major education conference in the fall, as well as vodcasts discussing issues in education, and professional development opportunities throughout the year for its members. For more information about ALAS, visit

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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