Lincoln Cluster Schools Newsletter

November 2020

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Hello Lincoln Cluster Families

Greetings Lincoln Cluster Families,

This month we are focused around the topic of multilingualism and English Learners. It is important to note that our Lincoln Cluster schools begin with assets-based approach when teaching into, learning from and supporting our multilingual learners across our 14 schools within the cluster. With an assets-based approach we can support our multilingual learners to fully realize their academic, social and emotional potentials by recognizing their diverse assets, starting from a strength-based approach, and responding directly to their needs. We espouse every classroom in the Lincoln Cluster to be a welcoming environment built on relational trust coupled with culturally responsive pedagogy. A welcoming environment is where the teacher-student relationship is positive and fundamental to the learning success of the learner. Culturally responsive pedagogy is where teachers and support staff genuinely acknowledge and value the cultural and linguistic resources that our multilingual learners bring from home. An assets-based approach is about leveraging the primary language because language development is not linear and our multilingual learners can exhibit strengths in an overlapping fashion of performance and proficiency in their language development. Ultimately, this work with our multilingual learners is about building caring and trusting alliance between our students and the staff that serve them every day to welcome them into the space of learning, connect their prior learning and cultural assets to the day’s learning, ignite their passion and purpose for learning, and establish the conditions for authentic collaboration and transference of competency and language development. When these are in place for our multilingual learners, then every day is a day of growth and success, because their contributions are valued within the class and school communities.

Stay well and be blessed, as you enjoy your time with your families, friends, and loved ones during this holiday season.

Bruce R. Bivins

Area 1 Superintendent

Lincoln High School

Lincoln High School

At Lincoln, we know how important it is to involve our families in decision making that impacts our educational programs. We would like to celebrate the growing involvement of our parents in our English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC). Our committee has received information regarding our English Learners programs and supports that are offered at Lincoln and also given feedback to administration around our Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). English learners who are new to our country are enrolled in ELD (English Language Development) classes, here they receive additional literacy support provided by a district resource teacher. Students who are no longer newcomers but are still in need of Language supports are scheduled into ALD (Academic Language Development) classes. If you would like to be involved in our English Learner Advisory Committee, please reach out to Vice Principal Veronica Martin at

Knox Middle School

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Knox Middle

Knox Middle acknowledges the importance of providing supports for students who are still working to meet grade level standards/reach proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA). In response, we have dedicated categorical funding that provides two periods of targeted, small group instruction to support our students. These small groups are taught by our Resource Teachers. In addition to targeted small group instruction, all 6th grade students are enrolled in ELA 6 as well as Academic Language Development (ALD) 6 or Lit Academy 6. By providing our students with 2 periods of English class support, we are providing them with mastery of the Common Core standards as well as an opportunity to further develop their academic language in the areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing with the designated English Language Development (ELD) Class. All ELA classes implement the Amplify curriculum, and our ALD courses implement Benchmark ELD and English 3D. Teachers also use additional strategies in online learning to support language acquisition and small groups. Strategies include, Zoom breakout rooms, annotating text with Kami, Pear Deck to check for understanding, and various other scaffolding techniques and online platforms. Knox students can supplement their personal reading goals by reading daily on Achieve 3000, an online program that provides articles for students to read. With this program, students can self-monitor their own reading levels and monitor their growth as articles automatically adapt when a student is ready for greater text complexity.

Millennial Tech Middle School

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Millennial Tech Middle School is celebrating our increase in student reclassifications! For students to earn reclassification, they must prove that they are literate in the English language. Students who can read, write, speak and listen in the English language are considered literate. To support literacy, MTM has purchased software programs such as: Listenwise, Language Tree, Nearpod, Rewards, and Achieve3000. In addition, our School Site Council has allocated funds for tutoring opportunities for teachers to work with struggling students, beyond the school day. On November 19th, we welcomed Kevin Gutierrez, as our newest English Language Art teacher. He will help support our English language learners by co-teaching in both ALD and ELD courses, which are classes meant to support language development. MTM is still seeking members to complete the English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC). If you are interested in helping to advocate for students who are acquiring a new language, please consider running for a voting position. Please reach out to Denise Goulart at email:, if you would like to help establish an official ELAC.

Porter Elementary School

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Porter Elem.

At Porter, we have been strengthening our instruction to ensure high achievement for all of our learners, but specifically our multilingual learners since they make up about half of our student population. We are continuing to build their language skills to make sure they are meeting grade-level standards by the end of the year. Last year we started using the Benchmark ELA (English Language Arts) Curriculum which has supported our work with Integrated English Language Development (iELD) and Designated English Language Development (dELD). We know it is key to have strong Tier 1 instruction with iELD throughout the lesson and then have additional small group instruction with dELD to strengthen the specific language skills that are needed for our multilingual students to access and participate in whole group instruction. Some of our teachers participated in ELD Learning Cycles last year where they were coached and supported by a resource teacher from the OLA department. This is the work that we are going to continue with all teachers this year as we learn what this looks like during online learning. Our grade-level teams continue to work in their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to problem solve around what will support our multilingual learners during whole class lessons. They work together to create learning that engages our students and gives them opportunities for active participation. One focus we have is to give all of our students opportunities to collaborate and share ideas. This has been facilitated by having students meet in Break-Out rooms and use Jamboard and Padlet as means of communication and collaboration. Our teachers also continue to support our students with graphic organizers and using their prior knowledge to support their reading and writing. We celebrate the multitudes of languages our students come with and see that as a strength that only enhances their learning of the English Language.

Baker Elementary School

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Baker Elem.

Baker is working hard to make sure all of our classrooms are fun, safe, engaging spaces for students to learn. We co-created our On-Line Learning Agreements to ensure that every single student feels confident, comfortable, and excited to participate. We have completed all of our Initial ELPAC testing, have held our first ELAC meeting where we elected officers, and we have two committed parents who will attend DELAC every month. Teachers are working hard to provide daily instruction that includes integrated ELD across all subjects and designated ELD for every English Learner. Our Baker On-Line Learning Agreements help us communicate clear and high expectations for supporting culturally relevant and engaging instruction for our future teachers, engineers, medical professionals, researchers, politicians, scientists, writers, film makers, and entrepreneurs. DREAM – BELIEVE – ACHIEVE! Go Bobcats! Go Baker!

Nye Elementary School

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Nye Elem.

Students are using the Benchmark grade 1 lesson and Scholastic News to answer to help answer the question: why do people get involved in their communities.

Valencia Park Elementary School

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Valencia Park Elementary

Valencia Park Elementary serves 148 English Learners (ELs), about 33% of our student population. To support and meet the needs of all of our ELs, ELs participate in daily English Language Development (ELD). Teachers have the opportunity to teach ELD by providing small group instruction using the Benchmark Advanced ELD program that San Diego Unified School District has adopted. In addition, to support specific EL target groups, Newcomers and Long Term English Learners (L-TEL), we have implemented Tier II interventions for these groups. These specific groups will have the opportunity to participate in a Leveled Literacy Intervention program. Tier II interventions are provided by the In School Resource Teachers at Valencia Park. For more information about the supports for ELs please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at To learn more about our school, check out our monthly newsletter at

Balboa Elementary School

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Balboa Elem.

Balboa Dual Language School is proud to embrace all cultures and languages (11 different ethnicities.) The richness, perspectives, points of view, sentiment, feelings, and view of life is what makes us unique. At Balboa Dual Language School we aim at individualized teaching paying particular attention to students joining us from other countries learning from their experiences. This unique approach lets us see the relationship between encouraging them to retain their native language while adding English as their second or third language/s in many cases. Balboa is a better place because of our differences!

Chavez Elementary School

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Chavez Elem.

At Chavez Elementary, we are constantly working hard to create a learning culture that embraces and empowering our multilingual learners. We are purposeful in our instructional day to create learning opportunities for our multilingual learners to develop strong academic language. Our multilingual learners at Chavez have the opportunity to enroll in our Dual Language program, 50/50 model. The program does an amazing job on developing strong bilingual students who have agency and academic resilience in both languages. Our school’s data on multilingual learners in our Dual Language program are showing some promising results in reclassification rates, reading levels and performance in standardized testing. Si Se Puede!

Horton Elementary School

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Horton Elem.

Horton’s language learners make up approximately 60% of our student population. Horton teachers attend to the language learning needs of our multilingual learners in strategic ways that promote the simultaneous development of content knowledge and advanced levels of English. All of our multilingual learners receive language development support through integrated ELD and designated ELD. Content instruction with integrated ELD focuses on critical academic language students need to develop to be successful in academic subjects. Designated ELD provides the opportunity to delve more deeply into the linguistic resources of English that ELs need to develop to engage with and make meaning from content and express their understanding of content. During Designated ELD, the focus on language needed to access content is intensified. Horton’s phase 1 appointment-based learning provides opportunities for English learners to receive additional support with language and literacy development.

Horton’s English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) supports parents of English learners by hosting parent workshops. On December 2nd, ELAC will host a parent workshop that highlights strategies for parents to support online literacy learning.

Webster Elementary School

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Webster Elementary

Hello Lincoln Cluster Families.

The Webster team of educators is working hard to reach all of our families over Zoom, to educate our students as best we can during our online learning. We are of course concerned for all of our families during this time. One of our bigger concerns is our students that speak a second language or are just learning English. How is Webster tackling this challenge? All Webster classroom teachers are trained in second language practices that they integrate into all of their lessons. It is called integrated English Language Development or (iELD). On top of that, all classroom teachers are required to set aside instructional time each day to focus on English Language Development. We call this time Designated ELD, or (dELD). This dELD can be taught whole group or small group. Students that are English Language Learners or (ELL's) are the focus of these lessons. Another way Webster is supporting our ELL students is through a special pullout program with our Resource Teacher, Mr. Schweitzer. He works with selected students twice a week in small groups over zoom. Our goal is to ensure ELL students are making at least one-year’s growth in their language development, and we reclassify them before they leave Webster for middle school. Last year we reclassified all of our ELL students that qualified. Webster will continue to strive to be the best we can for all of our students. If you have any questions, please reach out.

Encanto Elementary School

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Encanto Elementary

Encanto Elementary is a Two-Way Dual Language program. Our students participate in a 50/50 English – Spanish model. Research shows that language is intrinsically linked to learners' identity and emotional well-being and the use of the language of the home helps leaners to feel more confident and secure. Learners are more focused and motivated if learning builds on prior knowledge of language experiences. With 92% of our English Language Learners speaking Spanish as their first language, instruction in their native language directly supports them in reaching academic success as multilingual students. In addition to direct instruction in Spanish Language Arts, our English Language Learners are provided supports and scaffolding to throughout the day to access content knowledge and increase their language proficiency. Our educators utilize pictures, real life objects; language frames and color coding so all learners have an access point to the lesson. Our vision is to prepare proficient multi-lingual and literate students prepared to connect across languages, cultures and ultimately the world.

Chollas-Mead Elementary School

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Chollas-Mead Elem.

Chollas Mead English Club is well on its way to success. Our lessons begin with greetings by asking each other how things are going. We continue addressing our social emotional needs by rating our feelings on a scale of cat. We use sentence frames for these activities. As the lesson continues, we practice phonics, fluency, spelling, and writing. We sing songs and dance as a way to make learning fun, connect with each other, and to set our learning to memory. We check in with our learning by utilizing learning targets and success criteria. Soon we plan to stretch our learning by connecting to the Benchmark Designated ELD lessons in order to better support classroom instruction.

Johnson Elementary School

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Johnson Elem.

Johnson Magnet School for STEM is working diligently to serve our students who are acquiring English as a Second Language. Teachers plan for and implement integrated and designated English Language Development Lessons to assist students in acquiring social and academic language each day. Here are some sample lessons above.

Lincoln Community Council

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District Parent Resources

Power School Parent Portal Video-English

Directions on how to access your student's grades and attendance