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, odds-beating schools (those whose ELLs perform better than predicted) have adopted practices that are effective for this population.

Case studies of NYKids 2016 Study of Promising Practices for Supporting English Language Learner Achievement can be found under "Research Results - Elementary."

Case studies of particular interest from previous NYKids studies 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: