English Language Learners
Roxanne Tibbits (Atwater 4-6)
Yelena Lysakova (Atwater K-3)
Sheila Beck (Atwater Aide)
Amanda Krueger (SIS & SHS)
Our English Language Learner (ELL) program is widely acclaimed and the inclusive education model developed in the Shorewood School District has been replicated by many of our neighboring North Shore school districts. At present, the School District of Shorewood educates students from 40 countries speaking 35 different languages, a large percentage for a district with less than 2000 total students. As a district and learning community, we are very proud of our diverse population and work hard through our mission and core beliefs to meet the needs of each and every one of our students whether they are native or foreign-born. Many students and their families experienced significant hardships in their country of origin and have traveled long distances before settling here in Shorewood. We are sensitive to their journey and are committed to helping them successfully assimilate to their new community while maintaining their home language and culture.
Our unique English Language Learners (ELL) program focuses on motivating students as they face the challenging task of mastering a new language while learning occurs in all other subject areas. Teaching ELL students requires patience, persistence and special dedication. The role of the teacher has never been more important than in today’s world. ELL teachers work closely with homeroom teachers to assure students are learning and engaging in the classroom. At the same time, students receive one-on-one and small group assistance throughout the day. This dual approach enables students to participate in a rigorous curriculum while receiving needed ELL support.
Hallmarks of the ELL program include
- Low teacher-to-student ratio.
- State-of-the-art technology to enhance language acquisition.
- Resource-rich learning environment.
- Dedicated professionals who are available before, during and after school for support and guidance.
Extra support and encouragement are important as ELL students move along the educational path. Teachers and volunteers are available daily for one-on-one homework assistance for an hour after each school day. Students are encouraged to utilize this free program, to set realistic goals and to take pride in their accomplishments.
Bridging Cultures with Family-Centered Programs
- ELL Nights: These evening programs involve the whole family in the learning process. For many of our families, these events provide an opportunity to meet other families who are also new to our community. Programming includes:
- Potluck dinners: ELL families meet and share their experiences and a meal.
- Presentation nights: Students connect what they are learning in the classroom to the world around them. Presentations occur in a variety of media selected by the student.
- Activity nights: A showcase of the learning that has occurred over the course of the school year.
Adult classes for parents of ELL students
Parents as Educators Program (PEP) communicating with families can further enhance the learning process for ELL students. The PEP program enables parents to participate in classes on topics including conversational English, grammar and cultural awareness.
Current students, please click here for your ELL work.
Chinese speakers, click here to learn more about the program. (Chinese translation.)