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SRC meeting on English language learners

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

The topic of tonight’s public policy meeting of the School Reform Commission is English language learners. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.

The District reports that it serves 12,000 ELL students in grades preK-12.

The District has made available on its website various materials related to ELL programs and procedures. They include a chart of District schools showing numbers of ELL students and their English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and bilingual services, as well as an ELL handbook that describes programs, policies and procedures. Parents and others can review the information in those resources before attending tonight’s meeting, which will take the form of District-facilitated roundtable discussions.

Also included below are the planned discussion questions.

1. How do we strengthen partnerships among schools, families, community organizations, and school district offices to better support our multilingual students and families?

2. ELLs and multilingual students are often targets of bullying and harassment. What can we do to develop and strengthen programs that combat these problems?

3. The Pennsylvania Department of Education relies on data from large-scale tests as a measure of academic performance for ELLs. In your opinion, are these valid ways to evaluate ELLs?

4. What resources are needed to make high quality educational programs available to ELLs at all schools, and how can we ensure access to these resources in light of the District’s current budgetary constraints?

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