The goal of our district’s English language arts education program is to ensure its English Learners have the most appropriate program of study that validates their cultural heritage while at the same time enabling them to gain proficiency in English and academics. As such, GLTS has thoughtfully developed a comprehensive EL program throughout grades 9-12 to ensure students linguistic and academic needs are met at all learning levels. Course and curriculum development is not static, but rather ongoing and fluid as students require varying amounts and types of support within the year and from year to year.
English Learners (ELs) at GLTS
Students who qualify for the EL program at Greater Lawrence Technical School are educated in a sheltered English immersion (SEI) program. This program consists of two components, the first being sheltered content instruction, where students are provided approaches, strategies and methodology to make the content of lessons more comprehensible, and to promote the development of the academic language needed to successfully master content standards.
At GLTS, sheltered content instruction is taught by a qualified content area teacher and is based in district-level content area curriculum that is aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, and applicable national standards. An eligible student categorized at Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3, will be enrolled in core academic classes with a content teacher who is SEI endorsed, as well as a member of the EL Department to provide English Language support and instruction. An eligible student categorized as Level 4, or Level 5, will be enrolled in core academic classes with a content teacher who is SEI endorsed.
SEI Endorsed 9-12
SEI endorsed teachers plan lessons that are:
aligned with both the Common Core and WIDA ELD standards.
guided by language and content objectives appropriate for ELs at all proficiency levels.
conducive to peer interaction/group work, metacognitive development, multimodal, rich with visuals and manipulatives, and targeted to question generation, among other effective SEI strategies to make academic content more understandable.
The second part of the SEI program calls for qualifying students, proficiency Level 1 through Level 5, to participate in English Language Development, or ELD.
An eligible student categorized at Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3, will be enrolled in core academic classes with a content teacher who is SEI endorsed when available, as well as a member of the EL Department, when available to provide English Language support and instruction. Content area classroom teachers and EL department members work together to plan curriculum, implement instruction and provide support for English Learners.
English Language Development: (ELD)
English Language Development (ELD) is a systematic instructional model designed to develop the English language proficiency of English language learners. At GLTS, ELD is a course taught by teachers trained and licensed in the area of ESL/EL. This course is open to all eligible EL students (those whose composite ACCESS score is a Level 4 or below). English Language development provides explicit, direct, and systematic instruction, which is intended to promote second language acquisition acquisition and English language proficiency. The course includes learning outcomes in the four language domains: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Strategies such as cooperative learning and small groups are utilized as they offer students more opportunities for speaking, which is an essential component to the program.
English language development is tailored to the students’ English language proficiency. WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment) English Language Development Standards and Performance Definitions are used to monitor ongoing student performance throughout the course, specifically the WIDA Can Do descriptors. https://www.wida.us/
Student progress and performance will be assessed annually in the spring semester (January/February) by participation in ACCESS testing. Course content includes grammar, sentence structure and parts of speech as well as higher order skills such as critical thinking. This course is taken in conjunction with sheltered content courses in English, Math, Science, and Social Studies with an SEI endorsed teacher. http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/access/
Reading Grade 9
Grade 9 Reading is a TIER II intervention at GLTS. It is a comprehensive reading class offered to students at GLTS that require additional reading support. In this class, students have an additional opportunity in the day to improve skills they are learning during their regular English classes. Here, the READ 180 program is utilized as the instructional model which includes:
whole and small group class instruction using high interest materials.
software to build skills and provide practice in essential areas such as reading comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, phonics, and spelling.
independent reading which allows students to read both fiction and informational text selections at their reading level.
Math Plus Grade 9:
Math Plus, a Tier II intervention, is a combination of Middle School Math, Algebra and Geometry and is largely focused on middle school standards. Students have been placed in this class based on a variety of middle school math metrics that indicate a general weakness in grade level ability. Therefore, students are selected for this course as a result of a comprehensive review of the academic performance of the incoming freshmen. As such, this course is designed for students who need extra time in learning to be successful in High School mathematics. Math Plus is an addition to Integrated Math I. The curriculum is flexible to that the needs of the students in each class can be met. It is designed to fill gaps in student understanding and to support the regular freshman mathematics curriculum.
MCAS Math Grades 11 and 12:
This course will provide students in Grades 11 and 12 who have not passed the MCAS math exam with opportunities to diagnose and then improve weakness in mathematical skills. Students enrolled in this course also take Common Core Integrated III or Common Core Integrated Math, part 2. The goal is to help the student achieve a level of math competency that will enable him/her to be college and career ready. There will be 4 content areas for the course:
Patterns, Relations, and Algebra
Geometry and Measurement
Statistics and Probability
Test preparation strategies will be emphasized along with open response literacy, problem dissection and analysis. Students will remain in the course and on an EPP Plan until a passing Math MCAS score is ACHIEVED.