English Learners

DIRECTOR: Anne Auger
617 394 2400 (interpreters available)
E-mail: aauger@everett.k12.ma.us

PARENT LIAISON: Rixy Reyes-Oseguera
617 394 2490 (Spanish, interpreters available)
E-mail: rixyro@everett.k12.ma.us

Our English Learners are critical thinkers who bring many strengths and a wealth of experience to their classes. Their motivation for learning is truly inspirational. While we develop their proficiency skills in English, and ex-pand their knowledge in all subject areas, we want to strengthen the link between parents and guardians with the schools.  If you have any questions about our English

Learner programming please call us!

Happy Fall
The theme for this newsletter is, “Everett English Learners Reaching New Heights” — because of the inspiring work we are seeing from our Els already this school year, and it is only the beginning! Our English Learner Community is also “reaching new heights” with our enrollment! We are up to 2,007 English Learners in Everett in grades Pre-K through 12!
Throughout this edition, you will see samples of Els engaged in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects that require creative problem solving and lots of group collaboration. English Learners thrive in this arena. You’ll also see examples of English Learners giving group presentations to their peers, creating websites and robots, and developing their writing. In addition, English Learners are engaging in career skills in our high school’s academy model including carpentry and culinary.
At the Lafayette, Parlin, Whittier and Keverian Schools we are continuing to grow our co-teaching model. In these schools, our English Learners receive instruction form a classroom teacher and an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in the same room. The results impress me every-day. Our English Learners are working with the same content as the Non-English Learners in their grade levels. They are engaged and excited to work with their peers. I hope you visit your child's school for conferences and special events through the year so you can see their work displayed and hear their teach-er’s pride in their accomplishments. I feel fortunate to see them in action every day.
EL Director
The EPS has transitioned from instructing English Learners in grades K-5 in separate settings with separate curricula to inclusive practices in the elementary classroom that leverage the co-teaching of a classroom teacher and an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher.  All students receive the rigorous, standard aligned Reach for Reading Curricula. Before, many English Learners received curricula during ESL class that was not aligned with grade level content, and did not target the skills necessary to master the MCAS assessments. Now, ESL teachers utilize the fiction and non-fiction texts to develop both content and language simultaneously. This is an accelerated model of learning, that achieves academic mastery not with years of remediation, but rather with access to engaging, grade-level content with strategic language supports. ELs interact with Native English Speakers throughout the day, and both groups benefit from diverse classrooms with diverse worldviews and experiences.  
In grades 6-8, we now have standalone English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for our middle school English Learners that utilize the National Geographic INSIDE curricula. This curricula is responsive to the needs of ELs in 6-8 because it develops language alongside age appropriate fiction and non-fiction. Like our elementary model, we use curricula that is aligned with MCAS skills so our English Learners, no matter where they are in their language development, access higher order thinking and are able to succeed on standardized tests.  ESL teachers also have opportunities in their schedule to support ELs in Math and/or Science.  Before, middle school ELs were not placed in travel groups based on their English proficiency.  Now, at the Parlin and Keverian schools, Level 1, 2 and 3 ELs travel together.  This has strengthened Math, Science and History instruction to meet the needs of these students. Middle school content teachers work closely with their grade-level ESL teachers to plan differentiated instruction, and EPS has offered several rounds of professional development and coaching support to meet the needs of these homogenous groups. All middle school teachers take ownership for teaching their content in addition to the language of their content to ELs.  

The English Learner (EL) program performs the following activities:
• Determines annually, not earlier than October 1, the number of English Learners in the schools, and classifies them according to grade level, primary language and the EL program in which they are enrolled.
• Screens all incoming students using a Home Language Survey and, based on the results of the survey, assesses students for English proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening using the Massachusetts uses Kindergarten W-APT, WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten, and WIDA Screener for Grades 1-12.
• Places students with limited English proficiency (LEP) in a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) classroom that provides sheltered content instruction as well as explicit English Language Development (ELD/ESL) instruction.
• If the parent/guardian of an English Learner “opts out” of English language support programs, documents the parent/guardian’s notice and does not place the student in an ELD/ESL classroom. The student will continue to be classified as LEP and will participate in ACCESS and MCAS testing. When possible, the student will be placed in a classroom with a teacher trained in English language acquisition strategies. The school district will continue to keep the parent/guardian of a student who has “opted out” informed of the child’s progress.
• Administers ACCESS and MCAS testing annually to all English Learners
• Monitors the progress of students identified as FLEP (Formerly Limited English Proficient) for four (4) years after reclassification. The school district does not remove the designation of LEP until the student meets the state’s criteria for English Proficiency, which is based on ACCESS test results.
• Provides for waivers based on parent request under certain circumstances, assuming that the parent annually applies by visiting the student's school and providing written informed consent.
• For students under the age of 10, waivers are allowed under the following conditions: (a) the student has been placed in an English language classroom for at least thirty (30) days prior to the parent's application for a waiver; (b) documentation has been provided by school officials in no less than 250 words that the student has special and individual physical or psychological needs, separate from lack of English proficiency, that require an alternative course of education study, and such documentation has been included in the student's permanent school record; and (c) the waiver application has been signed by the Principal and the Superintendent.
• For students age 10 and older, waivers are allowed when it is the informed belief of the Principal and educators that an alternative course of educational study would be better for the student's overall educational progress and rapid acquisition of English.
• Allows students receiving waivers to be transferred to bilingual programs, including two-way bilingual programs, or "other generally recognized educational methodologies permitted by law."
• Requires schools in which twenty (20) students or more of a given grade level receive a waiver to offer bilingual or other type of language support program; in all other cases, students with waivers must be permitted to transfer to a public school in which such a program is offered.

Parents have legal standing to sue for enforcement of the laws relating to the education of LEP students, and school officials may be personally liable if they willfully and repeatedly refuse to implement the laws, or induce a parent to apply for a waiver by fraud or intentional misrepresentation.

Sheltered English Immersion is defined as an English language acquisition method for where curriculum and presentation are designed to develop academic content alongside English development. Books and instructional materials are in English, and all reading, writing and subject matter are taught in English. Effective sheltered instruction includes both content instruction and explicit, direct instruction in English language development (ELD/ESL) using a curriculum based on the WIDA ELD standards and instruction tailored to students’ proficiency levels.

Effective sheltered instruction generally includes the following elements and lesson plans that include:
• Current content objectives based on standards from the English Language Benchmarks for Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts, History and Social Science, Mathematics, and Science and Technology/Engineering.
• Language Objectives that target academic English language development in order to increase access to curriculum and increase domain specific vocabulary, sentence structure, and discourse.
• Frequent opportunities for interaction and discussion between teacher and student and among students, which encourage elaborated responses by students about lesson concepts.
• Availability of supplementary materials that support the content objectives and contextual learning, such as:
- Hands-on manipulatives
- Pictures and visual images
- Multimedia materials
- Demonstrations
- Adapted text
- Graphic organizers
• Instruction that links academic concepts to students' backgrounds. English Learners bring personal and educational backgrounds and experiences to their classrooms that are different from those of students who were born and educated in the United States. New content learning is most effective when it is associated with prior knowledge.
• Instruction that emphasizes English vocabulary by combining the teaching of vocabulary and the teaching of content.
• Instruction that is designed to increase comprehensibility of spoken English by the use of speech appropriate for students' proficiency level, a clear explanation of academic tasks, and the use of supplementary materials (see above).
• Adaptation of content, including texts, assignments and assessments. Presentation of content in all modalities, including written text, must be within the students' English proficiency level. Testing and informal classroom assessments should be appropriate for the students' English proficiency levels.
• Regular classroom activities that provide opportunities for students to practice and apply new content and language knowledge in English.
• Students actively engaged in learning 90–100% of the time.
• Students integrated with Native English-speaking peers.