“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” -Rita Mae Brown-
Serving a distinct and changing population, the Brewster Central School District’s K-12 ENL Department’s objective is to promote academic excellence, creativity and well roundedness in all of our ENL learners. Each student is encouraged to persevere and build self confidence in order to meet with success. The District has a collaborative goal to reduce and eventually eliminate the achievement gap among students from diverse backgrounds. The adoption of New York State’s Common Core Standards has prompted a review of the ENL Department structure, resources and instructional approaches. In order to close the achievement gap and reach the demands of an ever increasing ENL population, Brewster has taken an active role increasing the training and certification for teachers district wide to help every student meet with success.
Brewster Central School District recognizes that our ENL students come to us from diverse linguistic, educational and economic backgrounds. Many factors affect student academic and social achievements such as; poverty, interrupted schooling, and lack of general life experiences. Our ENL faculty strives to participate in community efforts that strengthen the home-school connection with our ENL population. The ENL Department strives to address the specific needs of our ELL’s and their families through active outreach which aims to build trust and support of this population.
The ENL program at Brewster Central School District is designed to fit the diverse needs of our ENL students at each step of their academic journey. At each grade level, ENL Instruction is specifically designed to align with the Common Core Learning Standards as well as ensuring the development of academic language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing through the content areas. Entering and emerging ELLs receive intensive small group language instruction across all grade levels. At the secondary level, the ELL’s native language is valued in our program to maintain content knowledge while acquiring English language proficiency. Along with their mandated English language and literacy instruction, ELLs participate in mainstream classroom experiences when they enter the district. Where larger clusters of ELL’s exist, collaboration is essential. This is a 21st century skill that all teachers need to engage in for the sake of the diverse student population. All English language learners receive a form of integrated ENL services, which are satisfied through co-teaching.
Our faculty understands that acquiring English proficiency, according to New York State measures is only one indicator of academic achievement. Brewster Central School District knows the value of closely tracking the continued progress of former ENL students. This is accomplished by co-teaching, direct instruction and consultation with mainstream teachers. In accordance with Part 154 regulations, Commanding students must be serviced 90 minutes per week for two years.
Our Department has a shared philosophy that is based on many years of professional as well as personal experience. Our beliefs have been established as a result of working collaboratively both in school and in the community as well as the research. The ENL Department aims to develop and maintain a continuum of service rooted firmly in these principles.
- All teachers are teachers of English Language Learners, and need to plan accordingly.
- All school boards and district/school leaders are responsible for ensuring that the academic, linguistic, social, and emotional needs of ELLs.
- Districts and schools engage all English Language Learners in instruction that is grade-appropriate, academically rigorous, and aligned with the New York State Common Core Learning Standards.
- Districts and Schools recognize that bilingualism and biliteracy are assets.
- Districts and schools value all parents and families of ELLs as partners in education and effectively involve them in the education of their children.
- District and school communities leverage the expertise of Bilingual, ESL and Languages Other Than English (LOTE) teachers and support personnel while increasing their professional capacities.
- Districts and school communities leverage ELLs’ home languages, cultural assets and prior knowledge.
- District and schools use diagnostics tools and formative assessments practices in order to measure ELLs’ content knowledge as well as new and home language development to inform instruction.
JOHN F. KENNEDY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The Brewster Central school District is required to identify ELLs by implementing a three-step ELL identification process to ensure that holistic and individualized decisions can be made by qualified personnel, including:
- Administration of the Home Language Questionnaire;
- Individual interview with the student;
- Administration of a statewide English language proficiency identification assessment;
- ELL identification, parent notification and placement in an ENL program is required to take place within 10 school days after initiating the identification process
The students at John F. Kennedy Elementary school ( K-2 building) fall into five groups: entering, emerging, transitioning, expanding and commanding. The entering and emerging students receive a minimum of 2 units of instructional time per week (360 min). This includes 1 unit of study in ENL (provided through the ENL before school program) and 1 unit of study in Integrated ENL (180 min). Transitioning students receive 1 unit of study per week (180 min). This includes .5 unit of ENL/ Core Content Area and .5 unit of study in Stand Alone ENL or Integrated ENL. Expanding students also receive 1 unit of study per week (180 min) including 1 unit of study in ENL/Core Content Area. Commanding students must continue to receive services for an additional two years consisting of .5 units of study per week.
To ensure that ENL students meet the expectations of the Common Core Learning Standards and Bilingual Common Core Progressions, ENL teachers confer regularly with administration, classroom teachers and parents to develop a program whose strategies promote success. All incoming students whose native language is not English are assessed using the New York State Identification Test for English language Learners (NYSITELL). All ENL students take the NYSESLAT at the end of every school year to track their year to year progress in English Language Proficiency. Since 2014-15, the STAR Renaissance assessment has been used and can also be taken in Spanish. The district has developed an RTI/AIS Plan that focuses on how to assist students whose first language is not English.
At the start of the 2015-2016 school year we adopted the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop, the Fountas Pinnell benchmark assessment in Reading and the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention for struggling readers and ENLs.
To address increases in enrollment, we were able to add one full time Teaching assistant to the ENL Team. This new staff member pushes into classrooms with regular teachers to provide additional assistance with students. This person will also work with children before school starts to provide additional language development and content support.
C. V. STARR INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
Our philosophy at C.V.Starr is to create an inclusive, nurturing environment where all students feel safe to develop their English literacy and language acquisition.To help meet the demands of our diverse population, which includes Students with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education (SIFE), ELLs without a dominant language, and ELLs proficient in their native language, C.V.Starr has implemented two instructional programs, Integrated-Co-Teach and Stand-Alone ENL.
At the start of the 2015-2016 school year C.V.Starr adopted the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop, the Fountas Pinnell benchmark assessment in Reading and the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention for struggling readers and ELLs.
To address increases in enrollment, C.V.Starr has welcomed a new ENL teacher. This new ENL teacher will be assigned to work exclusively with the third grade ENL teams. Assigning the new ENL teacher solely to the third grade will help foster a smoother transition for young students moving from the elementary to the intermediate school. The third grade teacher will service entering and emerging ENL students for a minimum of 2 units of study (360 min) and transitioning and expanding students for a total of 1 unit of study (180 min) weekly in both ELA and Math in an Integrated co-teach model. Commanding students will also receive .5 units of study (90 min) of ENL support during their ELA block in an Integrated co-teach model.
Additionally, C.V. Starr has taken measures to close the achievement gap by providing ENL services in Mathematics, an area where students have struggled and lagged behind their grade level peers. In grades 3, 4 & 5, ELLs are supported in math through an Integrated co-teach model of math instruction. ENL teachers strive to support their students in an inclusive environment, by adapting and differentiating lessons, implementing ENL strategies, and using best practices from TESOL.
During the 2016-2017 school year, C.V.Starr will offer a newcomer program of intensive literacy and language instruction for grades 3-5, 60 minutes a day, four days a week before school.
H. H. WELLS MIDDLE SCHOOL
The students at HH Wells Middle School participate in a freestanding ENL program. Once the students are identified through the administration of the Home Language Questionnaire, individual interviews, the administration of the language proficiency assessment NYSITELL and the NYS SIFE Screener, each student is placed accordingly. HH Wells makes sure to identify those students with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education (SIFE) in order to provide the most appropriate instruction. The entering and emerging students meet five times per week for 90 minutes each time in a stand-alone ENL environment. The transitioning and expanding students meet five times per week for 45-50 minutes each time. The language of instruction in the ENL classroom is English. ENL students also receive Math support in Math Workshop. An Integrated Co-Teaching/Early Exit Bilingual class is offered in in Social Studies and Science. The focus of all instruction is to meet the expectations of the New York State Common Core Learning Standards and Bilingual Progressions. Student grouping decisions are based upon a student’s English proficiency level. A flexible approach, based upon student’s needs, is used by teachers so that they incorporate a variety of instructional practices. Like all schools in the district, the middle school is also experiencing an increase in the ENL population. The pattern has been that students are entering the middle school in grades 7 & 8 with limited formal education. As a whole, ENLs who start in the school district in Kindergarten develop language skills rapidly and most exit the ENL program by the time they enter the middle school or high school. This phenomenon lessens as the students arrive in the USA in middle school and their formal education in their country of origin is not on par with the one that they encounter in middle school. The district has developed an MTSS Plan that focuses on how to assist students whose first language is not English. For the 2016-17 school year, HH Wells Middle School employs one full-time ENL Teacher, a .5 Bilingual ENL Teaching Assistant, a Social Studies content-area teacher certified in TESOL, a World Language Teacher certified in TESOL, and a .5 ENL/Math teacher.
In order to help the ENL students meet the New York State Common Core Learning Standards, the ENL teacher confers regularly with administration, content area teachers, and parents to develop a program whose strategies promote success. All incoming students whose native language is a language other than English are assessed using the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL) which replaced the LAB-R in February, 2014 and the NYS SIFE Screener. All ENL students are assessed with the NYSESLAT at the end of the school year.
BREWSTER HIGH SCHOOL
Brewster High School will have two programs to meet the needs of English Language Learners. ENL students receive ENL instruction with an ENL teacher at Brewster High School as well as content-area classes in Science, Math, and Social Studies. Entering level ENL students receive a minimum of 3 units of study (540 min) per week, Emerging level student receive a minimum of 2 units of study per week (360 min) per week, Transitioning and Expanding level ENL students receive a minimum of 1 unit of study (180 min) per week and Commanding level ENL students receive a minimum of .5 unit of study (90 min) per week. These options meet the New York State language requirements. Students will be assessed yearly on the NYSESLAT. All incoming students whose native language is a language other than English are assessed with the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL). that replaced the LAB-R in February, 2014 as well as the NYS SIFE Screener. The district has developed an MTSS Plan that focuses on how to assist students whose first language is not English.
Placement of students will be determined based on student performance data. Instructional strategies at the Brewster High School involve a number of approaches: sheltered English instruction, differentiated instruction, modeling, and Smart tools and other uses of technology.
A significant enrollment shift developed two years ago. The most significant increases in ENL student enrollment has occurred at the high school. Prior to the 2014-15 school year, the district didn’t have a program to support the needs of SIFE and SLIFE students who entered the high school between the ages of 17-21 years old. We increased our staffing for 2014-15 to include the following new staff members: Bilingual ENL Math Teacher, ENL Social Studies Teacher and 2.5 Bilingual ENL Teaching Assistants. This new staffing allowed us to welcome back 35 students to Brewster High School who had been placed in the Putnam BOCES full day program last year to Brewster High School. ELLs in Social Studies, English and Mathematics have sheltered instruction. Brewster High School also offers preparation for the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) courses during the school day. Students enrolled in these courses will be encouraged to stay after their TASC courses and audit high school courses, penalty free, so that they increase their language proficiency, learn more content, and integrate into the rest of the high school day.
K-12 ENL SPECIALIST
JFK Elementary School ENL Teachers
CV Starr Intermediate School ENL Teachers
Henry Wells Middle School ENL Teachers
Brewster High School ENL Teachers