The Lawrence Public Schools English Language Learners Department manages programs for English language learners (ELLs) with the purpose of developing English language proficiency and attaining state content-area standards. This department oversees the initial English proficiency testing and placement of ELLs, their English language instruction and content support, the process of program exit and the monitoring of ELLs for two years after exiting the program. It also supervises the professional learning and support of content teachers in the areas of second language acquisition and culture, Sheltered Instruction, teaching Reading and Writing to ELLs and the fostering of the professional learning community of English as Second Language (ESL) teachers. In addition, this department facilitates the Extended Learning Programs and Summer School Programs for immigrants and ELLs and the Family Literacy Programs for parents of immigrant students. This department is also a liaison between the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the 28 schools in the Lawrence Public Schools to ensure compliance with Federal and State mandates regarding the education of English language learners.
Organization and Structure of the
Lawrence Public School English Language Learners Department
The Lawrence Public Schools offers 100% Sheltered instruction to English Language Learners in grades K-12 in structured English immersion classrooms. In structured English immersion classrooms, all curriculum materials and instruction are in English. Native language may be used to help clarify concepts and skills when necessary. Teachers make use of specific teaching techniques that assist students in learning English and content skills and concepts. English as a second language instruction is offered to students in grades 1-12 which targets the development of English language skills, including reading and writing.
The mission of the Lawrence Public School’s programs for English language learners is to provide top quality instruction to ELLs so they can acquire English language proficiency while having access to the core content in a non-threatening environment by:
- Ensuring that instruction is scaffolded, modeled and differentiated.
- Promoting a comfort level in the new culture in order to become productive members of the 21st century and beyond.
- Enabling ELLs to compete with their peers and be college ready without remediation.