Invitation to join Lexington ELL Parent Advisory Council
Dear Lexington Parents:
We are writing to tell you of the English Learner Parent Advisory Council, which we are in the process of establishing. Please see the attached flyer which explains the English Learner Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC). Our goal is to provide our English Language Learner (ELL) Parents a voice in their child’s education.
All ELL Parents are automatically members of this Council and are welcome to all meetings. We are looking for one parent volunteer representative from each school in the district. The role of the representative is to collect input from ELL parents around issues that affect their children and communicate to members of the ELPAC.
The council will be comprised of the following:
- a parent representative from each school (PreK-12)
- an ESL teacher from each of the elementary, middle school, and high school levels
- a school administrator
- representatives of local parent organizations
Once we have prospective candidates, we will ask the principals to appoint the initial representatives. Thereafter, the selection process will be governed by the by-laws established by this Council.
We will have an informational meeting from 5:30 - 7:30 on January 24th, 2019 at the Central Office, upstairs conference room, to answer questions. Please complete the Google Form to express your interest in becoming a representative by January 31, 2019.
The first meeting will be held on February 7, 2019 at 5:30.
We are delighted by the opportunity this collaboration presents to develop partnerships that strengthen our program and provide the best possible experience for your children.
Dr. Christine Lyons Robyn Dowling-Grant, Ed.M.
Assistant Superintendent for Director, PreK-12 English Learner Education
Curriculum, Instruction and
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 650 students, an instructional staff of 21, along with department support staff.
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 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 academic achievement of its students through the training of teachers to implement Reader's and 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. The district is also training teachers in the effective use of project-based learning, a initiative that motivates students to learn by "Solving highly complex problems requires that students have both fundamental skills (reading, writing, and math) and 21st century skills (teamwork, problem solving, research gathering, time management, information synthesizing, utilizing high tech tools)."
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.
Director - Robyn Dowling-Grant, Ed.M.
email: firstname.lastname@example.orgCentral Office
146 Maple Street
Lexington, MA 02420
(781) 861-2580 X 68017
ESL Instructional Staff
Katherine Gerlich - Bowman Elementary School
Phone: (781) 861-2500
Carol Bennett-Dessureau - Bowman Elementary School
phone: (781) 861-2500
Laura Davidian - Clarke Middle School
phone: (781) 861-2450
Lonamae Shand - Diamond Middle School
phone: (781) 861-2460
AnneMarie Roche - Estabrook Elementary School
phone: (781) 861-2520
Katie Bourret - Estabrook Elementary School
phone (781) 861-2520
email: email@example.comMonica Tsubaki - Estabrook Elementary School
phone (781) 861-2520email: firstname.lastname@example.orgRebecca Ault - Estabrook Elementary Schoolphone (781) 861-2520email: email@example.com
Catherine Murphy - Fiske Elementary School
phone: (781) 541-5001email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Hine - Fiske Elementary School
phone: (781) 541-5001email: email@example.comMarilyn Friedman - Harrington Elementary School
phone: (781) 860-0012
email: firstname.lastname@example.orgMariana Pradas-Sullivan - Harrington Elementary School
phone: (781) 860-0012
Anne Garcia-Meitin - Hastings Elementary School
phone: (781) 860-5800
Yuiko Shimazu - Hastings Elementary School
phone: (781) 860-5800
Grace Baker-Whitcomb- Hastings Elementary School
phone: (781) 860-5800
email: email@example.comBarbara Adolph - Lexington High School
phone: (781) 861-2320
Katelyn Natale- Lexington High School
phone: (781) 861-2320email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWendy Ditmars - Lexington Children's Placephone: (781) 860-5823email: email@example.comEnglish Learner Education Office (781) 861-2580 X 68018Susie Chin - Department Secretaryemail: firstname.lastname@example.org