School District U-46 welcomes all families to our learning community. We provide services to meet the linguistic and academic needs of children whose native language is not English. Because of U-46’s location in the Fox Valley and the communities it serves, children from more than 100 language backgrounds are represented in our classrooms. Hispanic students comprise the vast majority followed by Polish and Gujarati speaking students. U-46 has the second largest English Language Learners Program in the State of Illinois outside the city of Chicago.
- Use students’ first language to develop bilingualism, bi-literacy, and positive cross-cultural attitudes. Enhance the rigor of the academic language in English and Spanish and achieve high levels of academic proficiency through instruction in two languages (National Dual Language Consortium).
- Provide explicit instruction that fosters academic growth and success.
- Provide transition opportunities and support for ELL students who are ready to participate in the General Education Program, according to program placement.
- Provide exposure and interaction with academic English language models through interactions within the school community.
- Share and create awareness and understanding of diverse cultures.
- Instruction for ELLs will parallel the appropriate grade level curriculum of the District’s approved curricula for Literacy and Mathematics and the Balanced Literacy Framework. Instruction for students in the 80:20 Dual Language program will follow the DL Curriculum Alignment Plan for the specific grade level.
- Instruction for ELLs will align with the Illinois Learning Standards, Common Core State Standards, the Illinois English Language Development Standards (ELDS) for English Language Learners (WIDA), the Spanish Language Arts Standards (WIDA), C3 Social Studies Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
- ELs will receive instruction in receptive and expressive English language development beginning with initial enrollment in the district and as determined by an individual student language proficiency assessment.
- Language Arts instruction will be provided in the student’s native language with appropriate materials in order to build a strong foundation for learning and transitioning into English literacy acquisition, in the Transitional Bilingual Education and Dual Language Programs.
- Instruction in the content areas and language arts in English will be provided according to the student’s English language proficiency and district guidelines.
A. Content area instruction will be provided in the student’s native language for the understanding of basic and accelerated concepts to the extent necessary and possible according to student’s needs, state, and district guidelines, in the Transitional Bilingual Education and Dual Language Programs. Students in the Transitional Program of Instruction will receive Sheltered English Instruction by a certified ESL Teacher.
B. School District U-46 and the ELL Department will provide professional learning experiences to all staff in order for students to achieve high academic standards in the following areas:
- understanding of the goals and objectives of the ELL program
- understanding of individual and cultural diversity
- instructional strategies to support English language learners
Belief Statements for the ELL program in U-46
School District U-46 is committed to providing high quality English Language Learner (ELL) programs that value a student’s native language and culture to ensure linguistic, academic, and social- cultural success. We believe that in order to ensure academic success for all learners it is essential to provide instructional programs based upon the most effective teaching and learning practices that are grounded in scientifically-based research.
Therefore, we are committed to the following beliefs that will allow teachers to:
- Promote understanding of and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity of students, parents, staff, and community.
- Provide instruction that builds on students’ cognitive abilities and prior education that will enable students to achieve high standards.
- Provide standards-based instruction for students in the most appropriate setting according to students’ academic and linguistic profile, state, and district guidelines.
- Emphasize English language development and content area learning at every grade level, Pre-K through 12.
- Use native language instruction to develop a deeper conceptual and linguistic proficiency that is strongly related to the development of literacy in the English language.
- Use native language instruction, as available, to access content area curriculum while simultaneously providing English language instruction.
- Provide ongoing, consistent district-wide assessment of students that reflects the stages of English language acquisition.
- Provide ongoing, consistent district-wide assessment of students that reflects the stages of Spanish language acquisition.
- Evaluate student achievement data and make program adjustments to continually improve student learning.
- Develop and maintain services in the areas of special needs, gifted, and at-risk students.
- Support and expand early childhood and family literacy programs.
- Develop teaching competencies through comprehensive professional development based on best practices for English Learners and educator professional standards.