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Articles: ELL

With U.S. businesses of all sizes competing on the global stage, foreign language classes—and the teachers who teach them—are vanishing from K12 schools.

Only about 10 percent of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English proficiently, and just 15 percent of public elementary schools offer language instruction, according to The American Academy of Arts and Science.

KANSAS CITY, Kansas—Superintendent Cynthia Lane learned the cello a few years ago, but not to fulfill some lifelong dream of soloing with the local symphony. The leader of Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools now performs alongside fourth- and fifth-graders in their annual spring strings concert.

In Districts of Distinction, honored districts from 23 states were chosen for the national recognition program for their innovative and unique twist on traditional programs.

From providing a range of innovative initiatives, including social-emotional learning programs to giving English language learners quality support, 54 school districts have been named among DA’s newest batch of Districts of Distinction this year.

For common communications, such as early dismissal notices, some schools create generic translated versions in key languages.

CIOs can play a key role in their district’s efforts to increase parent engagement as part of wider initiatives to advance equity.

Tips from Eric Antuna, coordinator of English learner programs for Palm Springs USD, and Mandy Gonzales, a district ELL teacher.

24/7/365?—Some students at Palm Springs USD, above, can take advantage of programs that run before and after school, Saturdays and during the winter and summer breaks to develop a better grasp of the English language and to learn even more about art, dance and science.

Palm Springs USD helps English language learners find success with an extended instructional program that allows students to practice their English skills before or after school, on Saturdays and during breaks.

MISCALCULATING MR. MIX-UP—Sara Gardner, a preschool instructor at Edward Everett School in Boston Public Schools, has the puppet Mr. Mix-Up purposefully count apples incorrectly so students can explain his mistakes.

When beginning kindergarten, Latino students are three months behind in math literacy when compared to their white peers, says a 2017 study conducted by Child Trends.

Today’s deeper learning proponents urge schools to master rigorous academic content; think critically and solve problems; work collaboratively; communicate effectively; direct one’s own learning; and develop an academic mindset. 

The challenge of finding curriculum materials in languages other than English is especially complex for districts embracing a growing trend: dual-language immersion programs, in which native English speakers join English language learners in studying academic subjects in two languages.

Across the country, for reasons both political and practical, even districts with substantial numbers of students who don’t yet know English seldom rely on native-language curricular materials.

The Fairmount Kindergarten Center near Seattle hopes to use innovative design to maximize classroom learning time when it opens in September for the 2017-18 school year.

With the U.S. Department of Education doling out billions of dollars to promote diversity and to support low-income schools in 2017, administrators across the country are also working to better serve students of all backgrounds, abilities and interests.

School superintendency is a family business for the Prusators. Todd Prusator leads Community Consolidated School District 231 in a small community 70 miles west of Chicago. His two brothers, Bob and Jeff, also are Illinois superintendents, all within about 30 miles of each other in the northwest corner of the state. 

This education guide explores the ways new technology and designer mindsets engage students in science.

Books on improving teachers, engaging science students, evaluating second languages and teaching media literacy education.

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