Washington Elementary School Community Newsletter
Timeline of Implementation
Beginning in the Fall of 2018, Washington Elementary School will introduce two new programs for our English Learners. Throughout the school year, we will continuously update you on our progress toward the planning and implementation of the new programs offered to our students.
The school year is off to another great start and we are excited to inform you about the new programs and services our school is offering to support the students at Washington Elementary. In recent years, our community has become both culturally and ethnically diverse in many aspects. This had led to a considerably diversified school environment at Washington Elementary. Presently, we are finding that the number of ethnically diverse students residing in our community is increasing at a steady rate. In particular, this year we ask for your support in achieving and implementing programs that offer our students the resources and instruction needed in order to promote higher learning and success for our diverse students.
Dear members of the community,
New and Upcoming Programs Offered To Our English Learners
- Content-Based ESL Program
- Spanish Bilingual Program
Content-Based ESL Program
This program primarily focuses on developing students' English language proficiency by incorporating topics from the subject areas that students study in their grade levels. In other words, it is a method that integrates English as a second language instruction with subject matter instruction. This approach does not necessarily focus on the language itself, but rather on what is being taught through the language (Reilly, 1988). Certified ESL teachers provide explicit instruction in the language skills such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking to ensure that students are not only learning the content but that they are also acquiring and practicing the new language in a meaningful way. This program is an effective method of combining both language and content learning in the classroom.
To provide our students with the instruction and resources needed in order to learn English while also learning academic content.
1. This program provides students with enrichment opportunities that extend meaningful learning of content while acquiring a second language.
2. Lessons include cognitively demanding activities that build on previous knowledge.
3. Students make meaningful connections between content and language.
What is Content-Based ESL?
1. Students have the opportunity to develop pride in their own culture while learning about the variety of cultures that surround them.
2.“Knowing a second language offers the chance to communicate with people they would otherwise not have the chance to know” (Hamayan, Genessee, & Cloud, 2013, p. 46).
3. This program supports students' native academic language to then bridge students to a high level of proficiency in the English language.
To provide English Learners whose native language is Spanish and who have limited English proficiency, with equal access to education through the use of Spanish and English instruction in the classroom.
Spanish Bilingual Program
The Spanish Bilingual Program provides students with the opportunity to acquire the basic skills for speaking, reading, writing, and listening in both English and Spanish. It is a program in which Spanish and English are used as the primary languages of instruction.
80-20 Bilingual Program
An 80-20 bilingual program specifies that 80% of the instruction will be taught in Spanish and 20% in English. With this type of program implementation, our students will acquire knowledge in both languages with an emphasis in the native language. Academic instruction begins in Spanish and transitions to English. This provides students with a better understanding of ideas and concepts in both their native and second language and promotes overall higher learning among English learners.
What is Bilingual Education?
Students can volunteer to aid community organizations with their projects and learn invaluable lessons in the process ("Getting Involved: The Parent, School, and Community Involvement Guide", 2004).
English learners are not only given the opportunity to acquire another language but they also become responsible citizens as they learn to function in the wider community.
Students enrolled in the bilingual education program have a greater sense of themselves, their community, and their future.
In the future, "job opportunities are increased for careers for which knowing another language is an asset (Hamayan, Genesee, & Cloud, 2013, p. 46).
The programs offered to English Learners benefit our community in several different ways.
How will these programs contribute to our community?
Community members can benefit and learn from the diversity that English learners provide to our community.
2. Help to bring community resources into our school to strengthen the education provided to our students.
3. Advocate for our English learners and the programs and services offered to these students. Raise your voice to help support our students.
1. Volunteer at our school. Community members are welcome in the school; their support and assistance are needed.
Community members can have a significant impact on the lives of our English Learners.
How can I become involved in these programs?
Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.
– C. Everett Koop U. S. Surgeon General, 1981-1989
6. Join our planning committee to help plan for effective programs, services, and resources for the success of all of our students.
5. Help to raise a generation of civic-minded students who are equipped with the skills needed to live amongst those in our community.
4. Build strong relationships with our students to empower success in education. Show our students that you care.
The support of the community is an essential aspect to the success of the students at Washington Elementary. Together, we can ensure our students an education that is specific to their needs as learners. Successful schools are ones that work together to acknowledge the needs and wants of those living in the community.
The involvement of the community in education plays a significant role in students' learning and achievement. According to the article, Parent, Family, Community Involvement in Education (2008), "Community involvement in education correlates with higher academic performance and school improvement. When schools, parents, families, and communities work together to support learning, students tend to earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and enroll in higher-level programs".
What does research tell us?