Milford Public School District
English Learner Program
Welcome To Our Program
Welcome to Milford, Massachusetts English Learner (EL) program! In Milford, we are blessed with a diverse student population and are currently servicing students from all countries of the world. Twenty-four different languages are spoken by our 730+ English learners. Roughly 33.3% of the total student population live in homes where English is not the first spoken language (FLNE / based on the October 2018 SIMS).
Majority languages represented in Milford Public Schools:
Portuguese, Spanish, and Arabic
Other languages represented in Milford Public Schools:
In Milford's six different schools, containing grades PreK – 12, we have qualified English as a Second Language (ESL) and Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) teachers, as well as, SEI Endorsed building administrators (principals and assistant principals).
In accordance with the requirements of the Federal government and the state of Massachusetts, Milford Public Schools provides an English learner program which is designed to meet the needs of students whose native language is other than English. The purpose of the program is to accelerate English language literacy so that second language learners will be successful in all academic endeavors, while at the same time valuing the social and cultural knowledge English learners bring to school. MPS practices a sheltered English immersion (SEI) model in each of our schools; in other words, we teach our students primarily using the English language.
EL Program Vision Statement
The vision of the English learner (EL) program in the Milford Public Schools is to empower English learners to master social and academic English; to achieve academic success; to accomplish personal goals focused on college and career readiness; and to navigate our diverse local and global communities. We foster a supportive, inclusive environment that confirms and respects students’ cultural richness and linguistic assets.
EL Program Mission Statement
The mission of the English learner (EL) Program in the Milford Public Schools is to provide research-validated, systematic, explicit, and sustained language instruction to English learners (EL), designed specifically to develop social, instructional, and academic language within the four language domains (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) in conjunction with subject matter content (language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies). A language-focused ESL curriculum aligned to the WIDA English Language Development Standards and grade level core-content standards enables EL students to become successful individuals in the mainstream classroom, overall school environment, and community at large.
EL Program Core Beliefs
- We believe that the mastery of standard, academic English and the understanding of social and cultural norms allow for access, equity, and social justice.
- We believe that all ELs are capable of being held to high standards and accountable for their learning when provided appropriate learning environments and materials, as well as highly qualified ESL and core-content SEI teachers.
- We believe that instruction needs to be tailored to each EL’s proficiency level and adapted to individual learning needs and styles in order to increase student progress.
- We believe that in order for ELs to learn effectively, there needs to be a confirmation and respect of their cultural richness and linguistic advantages; therefore, we employ teaching practices and instructional strategies that respect, affirm, and build upon the language and culture of each child.
- We believe parents play an important part in enhancing their child’s academic and linguistic performance through becoming active partners in their education.
- We believe that ongoing staff professional development in language acquisition, cultural awareness, and sheltering content for ELs is essential for all educators to implement effective instruction.
- We believe that ELs and ESL teachers need to be integrated into the overall learning community.
Program Goals for the Milford Public Schools EL Program
The following are the EL program’s goals and Evidence on how Goals are Achievable:
- To ensure that all students entering our district schools who speak a language other than English at home be placed, if applicable, in an English Language Development (ELD) academic program that meets their needs. This will be based on listening, speaking, reading and writing assessments administered within 30 days of enrollment in our district’s schools. The Family Resource Center (FRC) ESL Test Administrator and bilingual staff at the FRC receive training by the EL Director to administer the home language survey, SLIFE prescreener, WIDA entrance language proficiency assessments, and SLIFE native literacy and mathematics diagnostics.
- To ensure that each EL student continually improves their proficiency in English. This will be accomplished through direct English language development instruction provided by qualified ESL instructors. English language proficiency is assessed yearly through ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. Student proficiency growth is measured by comparing the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 scores from year to year, not only the overall score but the scores for the different domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In addition, the yearly Annual Measureable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) report provides district proof of growth.
- To provide English language learners with equal access to comprehensible, sheltered instruction in all academic areas so that they can reach their full academic potential. Content area teachers will receive targeted professional development training in order to achieve this goal. The SEI Endorsement is considered evidence of attaining this goal. According to the Massachusetts Department of Education, “Sheltered content instruction is not just good teaching or generic differentiated instruction. To shelter content instruction effectively, a teacher must have knowledge of second language acquisition, English language development, the relationship between culture and language learning and language use, sociolinguistics and non-traditional assessment of content learning.”
- To ensure that all EL students have equal access to all district programs and intervention services. These include Special Education services, Title I services, math and reading intervention services, “specials” instruction such as music, art and physical education, access to advanced placement courses, etc. ELs’ access to interventions is ensured through the District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP) process of having an EL case manager as part of the building based team. ELs’ access to Title I services (Reading Intervention and Math Intervention) is ensured by working with the Title I director to create qualification and exiting procedures. All EL students attend specials, this is guaranteed by EL programming and scheduling developed by building administration with the guidance of the EL Director.
- To ensure that all EL students have equal access to grade appropriate textbooks and materials. EL CTLs are responsible for compiling lists of materials utilized in the instruction of ELs.
- To monitor the instruction of our English Learners and Former English Learners (FEL) students so that we have assurances that they are making progress. We will use state-mandated ACCESS for ELLs and MCAS scores to make our determinations, as well as school-based formative and summative assessments (DDMs).
- To include EL students in MCAS preparation instruction and support, as evidenced by student schedules.
- To ensure the mastery of subject matter in all core-content classes. Mastery is measured through formative and summative assessments, as well as MCAS scores. Accessibility to core-content is provided by ESL teachers through a content-based ESL curriculum and by sheltered instruction in SCI classes.
- To encourage the participation and involvement of our EL students’ families through school outreach programs. Evidences of achieving these goals are communications sent home in the home language and attendance lists.
- To help our EL students develop a positive self-concept, as they are developing their English proficiency. Validating that cultural and linguistic diversity are assets that our second language learners possess and bring to our community. In order to achieve this goal, our UbD curriculum maps include Social Emotional Learning standards and sociocultural implications for each unit of study.
- To create a collegial atmosphere within each school and between schools in order to ensure coordination of academic programming and monitoring of student needs. To involve our ESL staff members in all professional development training and department meetings in order for this essential coordination to take place. Evidence of this goal is the interschool Curriculum Team Lead (CTL), Department meetings, and professional development opportunities provided by the district at the beginning of the school year, on half-days, during contractual meetings, and by providers throughout the school year.
Last Updated: 1/24/19