|English Learner Education|
ENGLISH LEARNER EDUCATION
The primary goal of the English Learner Education Programs of the Somerville Public Schools is to provide an educational environment that ensures that students whose first language is other than English participate fully in the school community and the community at large in order to reach his/her full potential. The Somerville Public Schools offers program options (described below) for students who are learning English as a second or additional language.
Each year, all students with a home language other than English will be identified and tested for English proficiency. ELL students will be assigned to the Sheltered English Immersion Program (SEIP) according to age-appropriate grade level and English language test scores. All newcomers to the district will be tested at the Parent Information Center (PIC) and will be assigned to the SEIP following established guidelines. Instruction for all K-12 students enrolled in the SEIP will be full-time. When students exit the SEIP and are still in need of additional support, English language services will continue to be provided on a needs basis. English Language Learners (ELL) will remain in sheltered immersion classes until they are classified as Fluent English Proficient, as measured by state mandated tests. Students classified each April as English proficient will transfer to standard curriculum classes in June of every school year. Certified and experienced teachers will provide ELL students with all the appropriate academic instruction.
Parents/Guardians of ELL students enrolled in SEIP classes must request waivers for participation in an approved bilingual education program and must apply for such a waiver annually. For students younger than 10, waivers may be requested after thirty days of enrollment in the SEIP. If 20 students or more of one particular language and grade request such a waiver, the district will provide an approved bilingual program for the students. Both the school principal and the superintendent will be the authorizing signatures on the waiver requests. For students 10 and older enrolled in the SEIP, waivers for enrollment in an approved bilingual program may be requested before the start of the school year. Principals only will be the authorizing signature on the waiver request.
DESCRIPTION OF ENGLISH LEARNER EDUCATION PROGRAMS
A. Sheltered English Immersion Program
The Sheltered English Immersion Program (SEIP) is a K-12 program for students who speak languages other than English. The educational program includes English as a Second Language (ESL) and content instruction (math, science, and social studies) aligned to grade-level standards. Instruction is primarily in English. Teachers use sheltered content instructional techniques in order to make lessons understandable and meaningful to students as they become proficient in English.
B. Unidos Two-Way Bilingual Immersion (Spanish)
The Unidos Program is a Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Program. Approximately half of the students in the program are learning English (ESL) and half of the students are learning Spanish (SSL) as their second language. Content instruction is offered in English and Spanish (math, science, social studies) to both groups of students. Teachers use sheltered content instructional techniques in order to make lessons understandable.
C. Waiver from SEI/Alternative Language and Content Support
Parents and Guardians have the right to request a waiver from Sheltered English Immersion.
For Elementary Students Requesting a Waiver: The Elementary school principal reviews waiver requests.
If more than twenty 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.
D. English as a Second Language (ESL) Instruction
ESL Instruction is provided to those students who have opted out of or transitioned into General Education or Special education classes. ESL Instructional service is provided on a “push-in”, “pull-out”, or consultation model in accordance with the ESL Student Profile and Service Plan developed by the ESL Instructional
Specialist in collaboration with the classroom teacher. The parent/guardian, classroom teacher, and building principal will be notified in writing of the ESL Instructional Service Plan.