Special Services Report

To:  Michael Green

From:  Deb Kernen

Date:  December 5, 2014

Re:  ELL Program Update


Our ELL programs are up and running with lots of new students this year.  Currently we have 160 students K-12.  Our numbers keep inching up each year and services are becoming increasing more challenging, especially with the arrival of a number of students from Guatemala grades K-9 that have had no formal schooling and speak no English.  These students require 1:1 ELL services which have put a huge strain on our staffing and programming.  In light of reconfiguration we have made the decision not to add new staff at this time, but will be making some recommendations to increase staffing this next year in order to  serve the growing needs of our program.     At Woodland Intermediate Melanie Ball began an after school homework club last month that has an average of 15 students staying for help four days a week.  We are so fortunate that the bus garage has partnered with us to pick this group of students up on their way back past WIS so that the students can be bussed home.   At WPS we also offer after school homework club that has an average of 12 students staying after school to receive additional support.  Katie Klaus is our new ELL teacher at WMS/WHS, is fluent in Spanish and is also able to teach a Spanish elective to seventh and eighth graders. She provides English, Writing and Reading instruction to our ELL students and is also pushing in to content classes to offer additional support.  We continue to see the success of implementing the web-based program called Imagine Learning English to help provide systematic academic language instruction as well as research-based literacy instruction for ELL students K-12.

Again this year our ELL department will be conducting many different opportunities for our ELL families to connect with school.  We’ve had a parent-school connection meeting at the Primary School at the beginning of the year where families were invited to meet our ELL staff, learn how they can help their children, learn how we are working with helping their children, fill out volunteer forms and any forms they needed to complete for the office and answer any questions they may have about school.  On Dec. 12 we will be hosting our annual ELL Christmas gathering that typically brings in over 75+ family members to participate in crafts, tons of delicious potluck foods, family portraits and book readings. Our goal is to increase their participation and connection to our schools.   Elayna has been busy translating tons of documents so our Hispanic families have more opportunities to receive school communication that they are able to read.  She is even translating the WPS the weekly newsletter!!  We also have submitted a large number of documents, such as student handbooks, to be translated through our language translation services company.