Special Education Report

Special Education Report

To:  Michael Green

From:  Deb Kernen

Date: December 3, 2015

Re:  December Special Services Monthly Update

This month I’m going to summarize some information about our ELL program at each of the buildings. 

At Woodland Primary School, Kristin McWhirter, is our new ELL teacher who has been working with 58 K-1 students. All students are receiving support either in a push-in or pull-out model depending on their language level. During this time students are receiving intensive language acquisition instruction.  We are also offering after school homework club 3 times a week for 45 minutes and have 27 students participating.  During homework club the students rotate through 2-3 stations practicing different skills identified by classroom teachers and ELL staff as areas of language focus. Students also work on the computer program Imagine Learning which focuses on language acquisition, oral language and reading skills

At Woodland Intermediate School we have 60 students’ grades 2-4 with Carlotta Propersi working full time at the building this year. Instruction consists of hybrid of pushing in during core instruction, giving individualized support during extension, and doing English language development via Imagine Learning. Homework Club is also offered two days a week that has 20 students participating.  We're hosting our 3rd annual Christmas Party on December 9th where we've partnered with the local librarian and chief of police in order to provide our families with community resources, lots of great food, crafts and lots of fun activities. There is one particular 4th grade student, Evelin who came from Guatemala last year and had very low and limited schooling in her home country. This year when she started 4th grade she didn't know how to read in any language and had no number sense. After intensive ELL interventions she is now coming out of her shell- she's talking more, has learned how to regroup, and is reading books!!!!

At Woodland Middle School we are using a different model than years past.   There are 32 ELL students that are supported by two full time paraeducators.  The students participate in an intervention block which allows them intensive English Language instruction.  The paraeducators also push into various classes throughout the day to help support the students in their content area classes.  Content area teachers are also given resources and support in order to help them accommodate ELL students. Many of them just participated in a 3-day training specifically designed to help provide proven, effective instructional practices to enhance ELL students’ capacity to understand the content they are delivering. 

At Woodland High School students receive small group instruction in English daily by our ELL teacher, Katie Klaus.  The focus of the classes are to improve reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.  The students are also working on building content vocabulary in order to develop their academic language.  Currently there are two ELL content based classes offered.  ELL Biology is taught by Jennifer Cullison, who studied abroad this summer to become bi-lingual.  The purpose of this class is to help students understand biology concepts in a duo-language setting.  The other class available is ELL US history taught by Katie Klaus, our ELL teacher.  This class also supports students through a duo-language setting while still focusing on increasing the students’ ability to understand, analyze, and discuss historical topics.   

Maligros Wells is our new ELL Outreach Coordinator/Compliance Clerk.  She has been building a strong rapport with the Hispanic community and doing a lot of outreach to local businesses and services.  She is translating documents for the district, including handbooks and weekly newsletters, interpreting for conferences and meetings and manages the ELL compliance.

She has built partnerships with the chief of police and the local librarian. They will be putting a Hispanic Health and Resource Fair. Also, she has acquired substantial donations for the Christmas Party raffle. She visits the San Juan Diego Casas for community outreach as well.

We are proud of the new staffing levels we’ve been able to add this year to support the needs of our 160+ students in our ELL program.  Lots of amazing things happening in the ELL world!!