July 13, 2015
My first school year coordinating the Title III federal grants for Limited English Proficient (LEP) and Immigrant students is drawing to a close, and I have enjoyed the new opportunities for learning that have accompanied this task. This year, the ESU 10 Title III Consortium served 688 LEP students and was made up of 31 school districts from ESUs 9, 10, 11, 15, and 16. Member districts had K-12 LEP populations ranging from 1 student to 114 students.
The consortium offered a variety of services, including regional trainings held at ESUs 10 and 16, on-site trainings for individual districts, administrator training via webinar, materials acquisition by request, and both remote and on-site individual consultation. 28 out of 31 member districts took advantage of at least one of these services, and 15 out of 31 member districts accessed two or more types of service offered.
Some changes were made to the consortium, including the creation of an advisory committee. The purpose of this committee is to give input and guidance regarding consortium-wide purchases, training content, and the overall improvement of consortium services. Currently, the advisory committee is made of about 15 volunteers and consists of:
• Representatives from ESUs 9, 10, 11, 15, and 16
• Elementary and secondary general education teachers
• Elementary, secondary, and K-12 administrators
• Elementary, secondary, and K-12 English Language Learner (ELL) teachers
A major area of need across the consortium identified by the advisory committee was that of curricular materials. Because of this, I ordered several sample materials for our consortium to review and also offered advisory committee members the opportunity to attend a conference with me in Denver April 14-15 where we had the opportunity to review other options for curricular materials. Six representatives accompanied me, and they have shared their response to this conference below.
-Emily Jameson, Teaching & Learning Coordinator
“Networking (enroute to and from the conference, as well as atconference) was very enjoyable and informative for me too. … When they showed the sample lesson on Wednesday morning, my favorite takes from the format was the collaborative application of learning, and focusing on enabling students to think, discuss, read and write. I also like the application of relevancy of what they are learning attached to other areas of their lives, not just at school. Building foundational knowledge of English for daily life, classroom interactions and content expectations are necessary for ELLs to become successful.” – Melvina Bundy, Broken BowCoordinator
“This conference was an excellent choice to gather information and learn about serving English Language students in our schools. I thought the E.L. Achieve conference supported the English Language Development teachers as well as the content teachers who serve EL students. I think I benefited the most by learning how to incorporate the structures and functions of language into useful lessons for students.” – Jamie Garner, ESU 15 Staff Development Coordinator
“I felt the conference gave me a great insight to the workings of a good ELL classroom. The EL Achieve Program appears to take these students to a very high level without leaving gaps and holes at the 3rd and 4th level of their achievement. Having great ELL materials and curriculum is a huge need in our school district. I will be an ELL teacher next year and I have been anxious as to where to start! The conference was wonderful but being with a group of ELL Educators from Nebraska was the frosting on the cake. I had people to ask for ideas as well as to listen to their thoughts and insights about this program.” – Terri Meyer, Chase County Elementary ELL
“My perspective is a little different as I am looking at it not from a teacher of ELL but rather a content area teacher with ELL students in my class.… I see cross over between the strategies EL Achieve uses and ALP (Adolescent Literacy Project). From a professional development standpoint, the chance to network with other professionals across the nation not just the state was a huge benefit. … To hear what they have done and are doing with their ELL students, what works and what did not just solidifies what we need to have in place for the few students we have in our district.” – Vickie Johnson, Broken Bow Jr. High
“I would say for me, I think the benefit was seeing what they are doing and learning about a new resource. … From a professional development standpoint, it was good to get to network with other ELL teachers, administrators, … and curriculum directors and hear what they are doing. It gives me ideas about what other schools across the nation are doing, what has been successful, and what they’re struggling with too. Because there is not really anyone else in my area who understands the needs of ELs, it’s nice to have that opportunity to get to network!” – Becca Moore, Wood River
“My perspective on it all would be that since I’m ‘NEW’ to teaching ELL that the E.L. Achieve Materials would be wonderful. I‘d have a set ‘scope & sequence’ to follow that aligns to our Nebraska standards and not leave me with any gaps.” - Myra Rahmann, Gibbon