Middle Grades students in SPELL program practice for talent show

Resources for Families & Students

The Sheltered English Immersion Program

The Sheltered English Immersion Program (SEIP) is a K-12 program for students who speak other languages than English. The educational program includes English as a Second Language (ESL) and content instruction (math, science, social studies) aligned to grade-level standards. Teachers use sheltered instruction techniques* in order to make lessons understandable.

These techniques include:

  • Leveled materials and texts
  • Visual displays
  • Cooperative learning and group work
  • Primary language support and clarification

The Alternative Language and Content Support (Grades 9-12)

The Alternative Language and Content Support Program at Somerville High School includes English as a Second Language (ESL) and content instruction (math, science, social studies). Teachers who speak Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and French provide bilingual instruction and use English and native language materials.

Curriculum Documents

SPS teachers of English Language Learners use the district curriculum and plan leveled supports in order for students to fully engage in learning as they become proficient in English.

Click here to view the Somerville Public Schools Curriculum Guides.

SPS teachers follow the WIDA Can Do philosophy. Rather than watering down the curriculum, we believe that with the right supports, children are good thinkers and do-ers while they are learning English. Learn more by visiting: http://www.wida.us/standards/CAN_DOs/  

Requesting a Waiver

Parents and Guardians have the right to request a waiver from Sheltered English Immersion. Students who opt out of ELL programs are placed in General Education classrooms

For Elementary Students Requesting a Waiver: The Elementary school principal reviews waiver requests. If more than twenty (20) requests are approved, a bilingual program will be instated.
For High School Students Requesting a Waiver: The High School Headmaster reviews waiver requests. Students with approved waivers are enrolled in the Alternative Language and Content Support Program at Somerville High School which includes English as a Second Language (ESL) and content area instruction. Teachers who speak Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and French provide bilingual support and use English and native language materials when available

Welcome Center at Somerville High School

The multi-lingual Welcome Center staff help new students and families with school enrollment and orientation to the Somerville High School community. On-going support is available to students and their families, including before- and after- school tutoring, and community resources. View a Somerville Neighborhood News segment about unaccompanied minors at Somerville High School. Staff members and the languages they speak:

  • Vanety Cruz (Spanish, English)
  • Erika DaSilva (Portuguese, Spanish, English)
  • Siri Striar (Norwegian, Spanish, English)
  • Melchisedek Alce ( Haitian-Creole, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)
  • Doris Lowry (Spanish, English and conversant in Portuguese, Italian and French)
  • Ann Herzberg, ELL Counselor (Russian, Spanish, English)

 

Students and Staff at the Welcome Center
Students and Staff at the Somerville High School Welcome Center

Somerville SAFE Program "Students Accessing Formal Education"

Students with interrupted formal education (SIFE) are offered a cluster of courses to prepare them academically for full engagement in the Somerville High School curriculum. Students are also provided before- and after-school tutoring and summer intensive ELL programming. Staff members identify additional social supports and community resources as needed.

Summer Program for English Language Learners (SPELL)

SPELL is an enrichment program for English learners in grades 1 through 12. Teachers provide students with vocabulary rich and culturally rich environments through field trips, speaking practice, reading practice and writing practice.

SPELL Student sits in a Firetruck
SPELL Student sits in a Somerville Firetruck

Parent English Classes

Any parent, family member or guardian of a student in Somerville Public Schools may enroll in English Basic Literacy classes offered at various locations. For more information about these classes, please contact the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Office at 617-625-6600 X6702 or email fapolaya@k12.somerville.ma.us.

Additional Resources

Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC): The SFLC provides a spectrum of learning opportunities, from parenting workshops to adult English classes. They also offer playgroups in multiple languages.

Multilingual Literacy Resources for Parents: Reading tips, guides and videos in 12 languages, on-line digital children's books in over 50 languages provided by Massachusetts Educators of English Language Learners.