English Language Learners
Read more about the program in the June 4, 2015, Lexington Minuteman:

Who We Are

The English Learner Education program has existed in its current form since 2006.  That year, we served 196 students in the nine schools, with a staff of eight licensed ESL teachers. Today, we have close to 475 students, an instructional staff of 15, along with department support. 

Understanding that English learners are all unique, arriving with varying levels of prior education, socio-economic status, and experiential background, we have endeavored to build a structure that meets the needs of all of our students.  We have accomplished this by providing educators with the tools that enable students to reach high levels of academic achievement in our academically competitive environment.  


Over the past decade, Lexington Public Schools has benefited from various initiatives that have contributed to the current environment.  First, the district has committed itself to building the capacity of its educators through its professional development structure.  This enabled educators to continuously improve their instructional practice by learning strategies,technologies and resources that improve student learning. 


The district has built a culture of professional learning communities (PLC), providing time in each educator’s schedule to participate.  This is a required component of each educator’s professional growth plan, and has lead to improvements in instructional practice and curriculum.


There is a strong emphasis on academic vocabulary (discrete words, structures, and discourse) that enables students to learn content, even as they learn the language. This is based on the notion that students must learn the “language” of each discipline in order to raise their level of comprehension.


Lastly, the district has committed to improving the instruction of writing through the implementation of Writer’s Workshop,developed by the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University.  This training, provided to all K-5 teachers (including English language development teachers), ensures the use of common language, strategies, and rubrics across the curriculum.


Each of these steps supports a structure in which English learners consistently rank at the top of the state in both progress toward, and the attainment of English proficiency.


With the steadfast support of the district, we believe we have developed a highly effective English language program, which has been commended by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Our emerging bilingual students are exposed to rigorous, researched-based instruction, using a wide variety of content materials, enabling students to learn the academic language structures that are so vital to success in the classroom by focusing on academic language and writing (as outlined in the WIDA standards and in the Common Core).   

To this end, we give screening assessments, participate on data teams, on student support teams, consult with teachers, act as liaison for new families, assist with the identification of students who may require special education, arrange for translators…all in addition to teaching children to speak English!

Our teachers are dedicated professionals who are expert in the language acquisition and acculturation processes, and who continuously expand their knowledge and hone their practice by participating in countless courses, workshops, and conferences.  Even as they attain impressive results in the classroom and gratitude from the parents of our students, they continually strive for improvement. They are at the heart of what makes this department so well regarded.

For more information, you are invited to contact the English as a Second Language teacher at your school, or me, at the number listed below.

Coordinator - Robyn Dowling-Grant, Ed.M.
Secretary:  Lisa Aboyan
Central Office
146 Maple Street
Lexington, MA  02420
(781) 861-2580 X 68017

ESL Instructional Staff
Katherine Gerlich - Bowman Elementary School
Phone:  (781) 861-2500
email:  kgerlich@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Jaime Smith - Bowman Elementary School
phone: (781) 861-2500
    email: jsmith@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Rosalind Dreyer - Bowman Elementary School
phone: (781) 861-2500
    email: rdreyer@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Deirdre Schadler - Bridge Elementary School  
phone: (781) 861-2510
email: dschadler@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Yuiko Shimazu - Bridge Elementary School
phone: (781) 861-2510
email: yshimazu@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Laura Davidian - Clarke Middle School
phone: (781) 861-2450
email: ldavidian@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Lonamae Shand - Diamond Middle School
phone: (781) 861-2460
email: lshand@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

 AnneMarie Roche - Estabrook Elementary School
phone: (781) 861-2520
email: aroche@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Lauren Wihrli - Estabrook Elementary School
phone (781-861-2520
email: lwihrli@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Catherine Murphy - Fiske Elementary School
phone: (781) 541-5001
 email: camurphy@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Carolyn Hine - Fiske Elementary School
phone: (781) 541-5001
 email: chine@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

 Marilyn Friedman - Harrington Elementary School
phone: (781) 860-0012
    email: mfriedman@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Rebecca Ault - Hastings Elementary School
phone: (781) 860-5800
email: rault@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Rosalind Dreyer - Hastings Elementary School
phone: (781) 860-5800
email: rdreyer@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

Barbara Adolph - Lexington High School
phone: (781) 861-2320
    email: badolph@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us

English Learner Education Office  (781) 861-2580 X 68018
  Lisa Aboyan - Department Secretary