ELL Elementary

Theme - Recognition, Intervention, and Adjustments

Promising Practices

  • Appropriate interventions for all students
  • A team approach to interventions
  • Focus on social-emotional wellness

In Odds-Beating Schools:

In schools with odds-beating academic achievement of ELLs, a coordinated effort is made to meet the needs of all students. In many of these schools, this is enacted through a Response to Intervention (RTI) program that is part of the daily schedule for all students. During this time, some students receive specialized remediation instruction, while others are assigned enrichment work or extra help on challenging topics.

The intervention processes of these schools can be characterized as a team approach, with educators, support staff, and sometimes outside agencies coordinating their efforts to support a child. This group can include classroom teachers, ESL teachers, speech pathologists, special education/ RTI/ Academic Intervention Service (AIS) teachers, school social workers or psychologists, and parents. Using this holistic approach to consider all aspects of students' social, emotional, developmental, and academic progress allows educators to carefully determine the kinds and types of services a student needs. Educators in the schools that participated in this study are focused on whole child wellness, and this focus is supported by school programs and practices. With a concern for meeting basic as well as social and emotional needs, educators do their best to ensure that students are fed, clothed, and feel secure. All-school breakfast programs, food drives, weekend food "backpack" programs, clothing drives, and attention to creating a warm, safe and secure school environment all support students doing their best in school. Through well developed and articulated character education programs, all educators and students in the school "speak the same language" regarding positive behavior expectations. In addition, schools' educators partner with local community groups such as Boys and Girls Clubs or community centers so that ELLs and their families have a safe place to go for food, recreations, after-school learning opportunities, and community events.       

Selected Evidence:

Blue Creek Elementary calls itself a Peaceable School, which is a whole-school commitment to promoting positive social interaction and character education. For example, a Buddy Bench was installed on the playground to encourage children to include others in their games.

In Van Rensselaer Elementary, character education is tied to an annual school-wide theme, for example "superheroes" or "stars," and all classes participate in character development assemblies to celebrate students' positive behavior.