English Language Learners

Across all areas of New York State, schools are serving an increasing number of students who are English language learners (ELLs). Despite the challenges, higher-performing schools have adopted practices that are effective for this population. Case studies of particular interest might include:

  • From Port Chester, J. F. Kennedy Elementary (55% ELL in 2009-10) and the Middle School (14% ELL in 2005-6). Both have turned around performance to support their diverse student population to succeed.
  • From New Rochelle, Columbus Elementary (31% ELL in 2009-10) and George M. Davis Elementary (10% ELL in 2003-4). In both schools regular and ESL teachers collaborate to serve the needs and ensure the success of all students, including English learners.
  • From Roosevelt UFSD, Centennial Avenue Elementary (30% ELL in 2009-10) and Ulysses Byas Elementary (19% ELL in 2003-4), a districtwide approach to ensuring that all students, regardless of special needs, have access to and support for learning the curriculum. 
  • From Utica, which has a large refugee center in the city, Dr. M. L. King Elementary (11% ELL in 2009-10) and J. F. Kennedy Middle (10% ELL in 2005-6) set high expectations to serve students with multiple needs.
  • In Westbury, the Middle School (14% ELL in 2005-6) uses a community school model and focuses on teacher collaboration to meet needs.
  • In White Plains, the High School (11% ELL in 2005-6) holds high standards for all students, including ELLs, analyzes data to spot trends and anticipate needs, reaches out to ELL families, and provides a mentoring program specifically for ESL students.

Other specifics about best practice for ELLS can be found in: