Wareham Public Schools has a diverse student population and currently services students from a variety of countries.
On November 5, 2002, the voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved Question 2, also known as the Unz Referendum or English for the Children, that changed some programmatic and instructional practices for the teaching of English Language Learners (ELLs). Massachusetts general laws Chapter 71A outlines these new requirements.
In Wareham, ELLs at the kindergarten through fourth grade level receive sheltered instruction in Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) at the John W. Decas Elementary School (grade level K-2) and Minot Forest Elementary School (grade level 3-4). ELL students in grades 5-8 receive SEI in the Wareham Middle School. ELL students in grades 9-12 receive SEI at Wareham High School.
Structured English immersion (SEI) is a program model whereby all curriculum materials and instruction are in English. Sheltered instruction is a methodology in which content concepts and skills are addressed while simultaneously attending to language development. The three basic principles of teaching English to ELLs are: to increase comprehensibility, to increase interaction, and to increase high order thinking skills. Another component of structured English immersion is English Language Development (ELD), whereby the four language domains – speaking, listening, reading, and writing – along with aspects of social and cultural language, are targeted by specific instruction and related to the state standards on English language development, and the World Class Instruction and Design (WIDA) Standards.
Wareham Public Schools assesses all limited and non-English speaking students to determine their proper placement and classification in the ELE program. Students are assessed to determine proper grade placement and also to determine the need for additional and specific types of academic support.
Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act does not permit time limitation of services for ELLs and requires that ELLs be provided language support services until they are proficient enough in English to participate meaningfully in the district’s education program.
Staff uses a variety of formal and informal assessments, including the ACCESS test, to assess progress in ELD. New students will be classified in accordance with the entry classification process. Subsequent classifications of all students will be the responsibility of the Language Assessment Teams (LAT).
For more information about the ELE Program in Wareham, please contact Maureen Manning, coordinator of English Language Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.