ELE Highlights

What’s Blooming in the ELE Department?

To say these past couple of years have been challenging for everyone is an understatement! Educators are working harder than ever before and coming up with creative ways to continue to engage students in the learning process. This is especially true of the English Learner Education (ELE) department and their staff who made significant growth in the program over the past 8 years. 

It all started with the appropriate identification process of our English Learner students and the first ESL Academies (Cohort 1) to prepare our ESL teachers 7 years ago. The ELE department has grown to include:

  • 95 ESL teachers, including those in Newcomers, SLIFE, Dual Language Education, Long-Term programs and 5 new Visiting Teachers from Spain. 

  • 8 Dual Language Education and 9 ESL paraprofessionals.

  • 4 new ESL Coaching positions to bring the total number of 6 TLS positions 

  • 1 SAC for the SLIFE students at the New Bedford High School and Roosevelt Middle School. 

  • 1 Curriculum, Data, and Assessment Manager, Nathan Couto.

Another new opportunity is a workshop series sponsored by DESE to train interpreters and translators through UMASS Amherst. Currently we have two full time Educational Interpretation and Translation Specialists, and many part time interpreters. We are blessed to also have a full time interpreter in K’iche and a partnership with Lionbridge that provides more than 350 languages. This new department has created a system to help with two-way communication between families and schools. Teachers and school members can call families, and as of recently, families can call schools through Lionbridge as well.

We have some great ideas that are still in the beginning stages including an ELE Accommodations/Interventions Support Document which was created in collaboration with all ESL teachers. This document will provide EL specific accommodations and interventions that can be referenced when teachers are completing DCAP and WCST student data to be entered into our students’ data system, ASPEN. Another idea in the works is “ESL 101” which is a comprehensive list of PD sessions to help new ESL teachers navigate their role and how to help ELs succeed. We are hoping to offer the first session in Spring 2022. 

In conclusion there are lots of new things happening in the ELE Department. What could we possibly do next? You’ll just have to wait and see!