ELL Support Plan

Supporting Parents, Teachers and Students

A School Policy to Support Parents, Teachers and Students

The English Language Learner Support Plan - similar to IEP in that it would be a requirement of all classes with ESL students in it, (Beginning with grade 6). However unlike the IEP, which outlines supports for individual students, the support plan includes a classroom profile. Considering the composition of their classes based on the ELL students, school and community, and on the universal design for learning model(UDL) to increase inclusion and reduce the stigma of ESL, the profile would include information to support the learning for ELL and build the efficacy of teachers. The profile would be developed with collaboration between the classroom teacher, ELL support teacher and if needed, the Instructional Coach.

ESL Stigma, and Parent, Teacher, and Student Perception

Parent Perception

Parents in the Peel District School Board (PDSB) are provided very little access to information about the ESL programming, no choice or input into what ESL programming is given to their child, which leads to a diminished sense of autonomy over their son or daughter’s education. Often times there is very little communication with parents about the process, or the placement of their child into an ESL stream. With a lack of information, what is known to parents is that the program departs from what is being delivered to the rest of the student body, and without any further insight, they voice their desire to have their son or daughter removed from the program, to receive the same program all students are receiving, for fear that their son or daughter’s educational experience is being compromised, at the expense of secondary and post secondary school options.

For ELL parents, especially newcomer parents, building collective trust between faculty and parents must include making the system more transparent. Parents need help understanding and navigating the educational system. This includes how there son or daughter is identified on stages or steps of English Language Development, an understanding of how the ESL program works to support ELL students, special processes like the SEP7 process, used to better understand if an ELL students has an ELL need or a special education need, transitions from elementary to middle school and middle to high school, an understanding of their son/daughter’s school and the activities, supports and committees, and any other information that can support ELL parents’ understanding of the education system. Not only does this help to build trust between parents and schools, it improves the efficacy of parents to play an active role in their son’s/daughter’s education, leading to improved academic optimism.

Support for Parents

ELL Open House for parents in the Fall

Parent Meeting Nights - tied to some type of learning session

(Possibly: babysitting by grade 8’s – trained by St John’s Babysitting Program, with adult supervision - possible funding through Imagine-action)

Monthly: Sept:(Help with Homework), Oct: (Numeracy), Nov: (Literacy) Dec: (Digital Citizenship – Electronics and Power Down at Night) – Just before Christmas when kids are getting new electronics etc. Jan, Feb, March, Apr, May, (To be determined by the needs of the school).

Transitions Open House – grade 8 parents (transition to high school – ESL/ELD, Spec Ed)

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Teacher Perception

The teacher perception of ESL students is very critical to student success. A teacher’s perception makes the difference between them becoming a reflective practitioner or one that operates from defect mindset with regards to the students he or she works with. Deficit thinking from teachers can translate into a poor academic self-concept in students, which leads to dis-engagement and diminished academic achievement. The article “Mind-Sets and Equitable Education” by Carol Dweck (2010) is a great article for teachers to read and gain insight into the importance of a growth mindset. Some key understandings from this article are that growth mindset improves achievement as well as student self-esteem and motivation to learn. It noted that teachers with a growth mindset believe all students can learn. What is important to note is that when teachers operated from deficit thinking, and the understanding that knowledge is fixed, students often felt discouraged, and not intelligent. This in turn lead to defensiveness, and oppositional behavior. “Teachers with a growth mind-set don’t just mouth the belief that every student can learn; they are committed to finding a way to make that happen” (Dweck, 2010, p. 28)

All students need to be engaged with authentic and cognitively challenging learning tasks; it is the nature of the support – in response to student need – that is critical for success. In this sense, having ELLs in a classroom can be a catalyst for providing effective instructional strategies in literacy and language learning across the curriculum, which benefits all students (Gibbons, 2002), (Capacity Building Series, Edition #31, 2013)

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Support for Teachers

Planning with ESL/Spec Ed Teacher: Before September meet with ELL/Spec Ed teacher for grade 6 to develop a draft of the ELL Classroom Profile

Establish Grade 6 ESL Committee: September - determine the frequency of meetings (must be at least once per month) (September – first Meeting) Have committee decide how many students they would like to track (this would be the grade 6 committee of ELL/Spec Ed, class teacher and myself) – it may be one per class, it may be all the ELL who knows ...

(Check in at reporting timelines to see progress: 2-3 weeks before reporting timelines is a suggestion)

- As the committee meets and student GAN arises, I will look to deleiver or find PD appropriate to the needs of the grade 6 team to continue to support teacher development thus improving their efficacy.

ESL Classroom Profile Draft: to be revised in September meeting with the grade 6 ESL Committee

School Success Planning: Meet with staff re data – school success planning in September – to establish teaching and learning goals

(Require mentorship guidance – will this be a process I shadow or am guided through to lead?)

Professional Development: – Accountable talk for staff – (Three sessions between September and December – The PD is for the grade 6 teachers doing the ELL profile program, but all are welcome to come – talk moves in math, accountable talk in LA to improve reading comprehension and reading responses, accountable talk in the inquiry process)

*possibly in start of the year principal may want the whole staff to have PD on this

Follow ELL Student(s) in Numeracy and Reading: Apply accountable talk methods and collaborative inquiry cycles to improve communication in numeracy and literacy.

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Student Perception

Stage 1 and 2 ELLs reported experiencing frustration from their classroom teachers, and a lack of attentiveness when they did not grasp a concept or were confused with the lesson material. As a result, these students reported being hesitant to approach their classroom teacher or request additional support. This led to Stage 1 and 2 ELLs becoming discouraged and disengaged in the learning process. (Favorao & Gray, 2013, p. 23).

Support For Students

Although support for students has been met through the various ways in which parent and teacher needs have been addressed, it is very critical to reflect on student engagement.

  • Am I connected to all the students in my class, and do they feel connected to me?
  • Are the students involved in school life: Extra Curricular Activities - intramurasl and school teams, clubs, etc; Spirit Days, School Activities, and so forth?
  • Do students have a voice, and decision making power - in the own sphere, within their class, and or school wide?
  • Do leadership opportunities exist for my ELL students?
  • Have I guided my ELL students towards any of the above noted points?