Lexington Public Schools offers a comprehensive English language development program in Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. In each of the district's nine schools, English learners typically receive daily English as a second language instruction, using state of the art materials that build skills in each of the four domains of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Our instruction is based on the WIDA (Word Class Instructional Design and Assessment) standards for English proficiency, developed at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Massachusetts joined the consortium, and adopted the standards beginning in the 2012-13 school year. Throughout the students' day, they learn academic content in their regular classrooms from teachers who have been trained to "shelter" the content, using strategies that increase student comprehension.
At the elementary level, English learners are instructed in a warm and welcoming classroom, where they learn the language with their grade-level peers using National Geographic's REACH and Hampton Brown's Avenues series. These series' were selected because of their comprehensive approach to teaching academic vocabulary, grammar, study skills, and fiction and non-fiction writing. This is accomplished through the reading of a wide variety of genres, including short stories, science articles, poetry, biography, and more. In addition, ESL teachers often provide 'push-in' instruction in the students' general education classroom, a particularly effective strategy for improving writing and for content area instruction.
At the middle school levels, English learners are scheduled into daily English as a second language instruction, where they learn with their grade level peers, using Pearson's Keystone series levels A-C. At the high school, students are scheduled into English as a second language classes with other students of similar English proficiency (ESL I, ESL II, ESL III), using Pearson Longmann's Keystone series levels D-F. Students learn academic vocabulary, grammar, study skills, and fiction and non-fiction writing through the reading of text typically found in a high school setting. These include excerpts from novels, plays, short stories, biographies, and informational text such as those found in a science or social studies classroom. Students produce the types of writing they will need for their content classes, thus improving their success in the classroom.This series presents the English development instructional material using literature that is suited to what adolescent students need in our rigorous school environment, and vertically aligns the educational experience for our English learners moving from middle school to Lexington High School.