WACHUSETT REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT Holden-Paxton-Princeton-Rutland-Sterling
Supporting English Language Learners
The Wachusett Regional School District is privileged to have a growing population of English Language Learners (ELL) representing over 80 distinct languages or dialects. Supporting these students as they develop language skills throughout grades Pre-K through 12 is of paramount importance. To this end, the District has secured nearly $1.7 million in federal National Professional Development Grant funds, in partnership with Framingham State University, the Marlborough Public Schools, and the Cambridge Public Schools, to build capacity for ELL support in our classrooms.
ELL support is provided for WRSD students in the following ways:
- Full scholarships for more than 25 classroom teachers district-wide to complete an M.Ed in Teaching English as a Second Language and provide building-based leadership for strategic instruction with their developing expertise
- Job-embedded professional development for all teachers with ELL students in their classrooms, including model-lessons, co-teaching, planning, and intervention problem-solving
- Regular tutoring for qualifying students
- Ongoing assessment to monitor progress and inform instruction
Alignment with WIDA
The District is currently in the process of aligning practice and policy with World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA). All districts in the Commonwealth are making this transition as Massachusetts is now a member of the WIDA consortium. Our shift includes the following goals:
- Advance academic language development
- Implement high-quality standards for linguistically diverse student populations
- Deploy research-based assessment
- Provide intensive professional development for teachers
Administration of the new assessment ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners), a large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English language learners, begins in the District in January, 2013. It is given annually in WIDA Consortium member states to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English. To support implementation of ACCESS, the District will provide test administration training events.
Language to Expect from ELLs in the Classroom
WIDA CAN DO Descriptors support teachers by providing information on the language students are able to comprehend and use in the classroom.
The WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards describe the social, instructional, and academic language ELL students need to engage with peers, teachers, and academic content in their classrooms.
Find out more about our National Professional Development Program Grant.
Find out more about the M.Ed in Teaching English as a Second Language at Framingham State University.