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Strategies to Support Dearborn English Language Learners. Supports for Students and Teachers in Raising ELL Student Performance. Contents. Dearborn ELL Project Summary. Purpose.
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Strategies to Support Dearborn English Language Learners Supports for Students and Teachers in Raising ELL Student Performance
Dearborn ELL Project Summary • Purpose • Identify and describe effective student interventions, supports, and teacher training in raising achievement among English Language Learners (ELLs) and Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) • Approach • Investigate current practices and trends at Dearborn • Data analysis of ELL population • SEI Classroom observations • Interviews with school teachers • School visits and interviews with school leaders and teachers at high performing schools with large ELL populations throughout MA • KIPP Lynn • Excel Academy • Lawrence Family Development Charter School • Edwards Middle School • Robert L. Ford School • Research • Effective instructional strategies for ELLs • Components of effective SEI classrooms • Quality PD and teacher training • Curriculum geared towards ELL students • Summer programs for ELL students
Components of Effective Sheltered English Immersion Programs Beginning of Year Throughout Year Intake Gather up to date student information and assess all incoming students before entry to inform purposeful section assignment Ongoing Teacher Improvement Ongoing PD to build teacher skills in serving ELLs and teacher collaboration around data trends Frequent Student Tracking Monitor student progress through regular assessment cycles • Effective SEI Classrooms • Set time lines for entry to mainstream classes • Trained teachers to understand ELL needs • Frequent assessments to track student progress • Differentiated Instruction • Additional small group instruction or individual tutoring during and after school • Summer programs to prevent learning loss
Components of Effective SEI Instruction Sources: Educational Leadership, “The Case for Structured English Immersion”; Center for Equal Opportunity, “The ABC’s of English Immersion A Teacher’s Guide”
Effective Programs: KIPP Lynn Guided Reading % First Language Not English (FLNE) Students at KIPP Lynn: 37.1 % ELL Students at KIPP: 1.1
Effective Programs: Excel Academy DEAR % FLNE Students at Excel: 50 % ELL Students at Excel: 4.2
Effective Programs: Edwards Academic League & Electives % FLNE Students at Edwards: 48.2 % ELL Students at Edwards: 27.2
Effective Programs: Rocketship (CA) Learning Lab/RTI % ELL Students at Rocketship: 82
Strengths to Build Off People Data Time • Some evidence of differentiated strategies: visual organizers, purposeful student grouping, emphasis on vocabulary • SEI teachers know students’ native language • Many teachers have received some or all category trainings for teaching ELLs • Use MEPA/MELA scores to place ELL students • MEPA/MELA administered twice each school year, in the fall and spring • Scheduled time twice a week for SEI teachers to meet • SEI classrooms receive an additional 49 minutes of ESL/ELA instruction compared to regular education classrooms
Challenges to Addressing Needs of ELL Students People Data Time • Teachers struggle with curriculum that uses inaccessible language • Math curriculum (CMP) is language heavy and uses complex vocabulary • Social Studies curriculum (History Alive) uses language several grade levels above ELL students’ reading levels • PD lacks content tailored to unique needs of school ELL population: • Identify/address ELL needs • Modified curriculum • Data Analysis • Differentiated instruction • Some teachers have not found category trainings to be useful, citing large training class sizes and content that is not applicable • SEI teachers rely heavily on Cape Verdean Creole to teach content • Infrequency of school wide assessments does not provide teachers with adequate real time data on student progress • Lack of data on incoming students prevents strategic and timely student placement and planning for interventions to address skill gaps, especially for students who enter in the middle of the year • Length of school day forces SEI teachers to make tradeoffs between teaching content and language acquisition, including: • Phonemic Awareness • Reading Comprehension • Building Vocabulary • Time allocated for cluster meetings is not focused towards identifying individual student needs based on data • Lack of effective summer and after school programs to provide supports and prevent summer learning loss
Recommendations Before School Year Throughout School Year Create a schedule that provides multiple doses of individual and/or small group tiered interventions that target ELL students’ specific skill deficits Create year long PD calendar that targets ELL instruction, data training, and teacher collaboration for SEI and regular education teachers Administer assessment for incoming ELL students within first week of school entry or before, and collect/analyze ELL student assessment data at least once a month Leverage partners and resources to enable the school to more effectively raise ELL student performance Develop and communicate strategic plan to staff
Create a schedule that provides multiple doses of individual and/or small group tiered interventions that target ELL students’ specific skill deficits Only dose Dearborn currently offers
Create year long PD calendar that targets ELL instruction, data training, and teacher collaboration for SEI and regular education teachers
Administer assessment for incoming ELL students within first week of school entry or before, and collect/analyze ELL student assessment data at least once a month Assess incoming students to gain baseline data MCAS Assess returning students to measure progress and plan for following year Fall MEPA/MELA Spring MEPA/MELA Create in-depth data profiles for each ELL student Update ELL data profiles Update ELL data profiles Update ELL data profiles Update ELL data profiles Update ELL data profiles Update ELL data profiles Update ELL data profiles Update ELL data profiles ANET Assessments ANET Assessments ANET Assessments ANET Assessments ANET Assessments Schoolwide data meeting to identify students for acceleration academies and prepare for MCAS Schoolwide data meeting to identify areas of instructional need for upcoming year and identify students for summer programs Schoolwide data meeting to identify students for interventions Schoolwide data meeting to identify areas of instructional need Schoolwide data meeting to prepare for MCAS Weekly cluster meetings to analyze student work and other assessments to identify interventions and discuss instruction
Informs school of student backgrounds Partners/Resources Uses Creates smaller student teacher ratios Allows cost effective one on one instruction Leverage partners and resources to enable the school to more effectively raise ELL student performance Adds individual supports after school Incorporates technology
BPS Placement of ELL Students Placements with parent waiver Sources: Boston Public Schools Memorandum 6/28/10; ‘Student Fluency Woes Rising’ Boston Globe 7/8/10 • In the beginning of 2009-2010 school year, 19% (11,886) of all BPS students classified as ELL • Number has risen to 28% (15,987) after federally mandated testing • In 2002, MA mandated Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) instruction for all ELLs • Parents can apply for waivers that exempt children from SEI into regular ed, transitional bilingual, or 2-way bilingual • Most ELL students are educated in SEI classrooms
Tracking Progress of ELL Students • MA tracks ELL progress in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening through MEPA and MELA • MEPA and MELA are based on a scaled score from 400 to 550, which correspond to 5 levels MEPA/MELA Level Descriptions and Classroom Placement Typical time from Level 1 to 5 is 5+ years Source: MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Guide to Interpreting the 2009 MEPA Reports for Schools and Districts
Dearborn ELL Population: 2009-2010 • Majority (82%) of ELL students’ native language is Cape Verdean Creole (Students with Interrupted Formal Education) Sources: BPS Portal; LIZA
Dearborn ELL Population: Grade Level and Trends • Number of ELL students has more than doubled over the past 5 years • By contrast, the number of ELL students is higher in 7th grade than in 6th, and in 8th grade than 7th • Possible explanations for higher ELL populations in higher grades • Not all ELL students properly identified before entering 6th grade • More incoming mid-year ELL students in 7th and 8th • Former ELL students regain ELL status in later grades Sources: LIZA; MA Department of Education School Profile
Dearborn ELL Population: MEPA/MELA Levels • Majority of ELL students (74%) classified at Level 3 or lower Source: BPS Portal
Dearborn ELL Student Achievement • Dearborn ELL MCAS performance lags behind district and state, and achievement gap has widened in comparison to both the district and state Sources: MA Department of Education School Profile
Dearborn ELL Student Placement • 5 SEI classrooms serving ELL students • Compared to regular ed classrooms, SEI classrooms have 49 more minutes of English instruction each day, while regular ed classrooms have 49 more minutes of electives • 7th and 8th grade have two SEI sections, where students are placed based on MEPA Levels All ELL Students ELLs: Levels 1 and 2 ELLs: Levels 3 and 4 ~20 - 25 students/section Grade 7, Section B* Grade 8, Section B Grade 6, Section A Grade 7, Section A Grade 8, Section A *All mid-year entering ELLs are placed into Grade 7, Section B regardless of age Some student movement throughout sections during school year