English Learners: A Deep-Dive into Clear(er) Water
ELs are arguably one of the most academically and socially vulnerable populations of public school students–just ask your educators. Often arriving in schools with little or no English, these students deserve our best efforts at college and career readiness. The convergence of standards, assessments and educator preparation key, and ELPA21 will share a deep-dive into the successes and challenges of new ELP standards, professional development and implementation of a from-the-ground-up assessment system. This session explores the connection at four levels–consortium, state, district and school–that supports classroom educators shape instruction for ELs, and highlights ELPA21’s PD modules in Iowa and how this asset is incorporated into educator preparation. This interactive session is designed to give attendees take-away approaches to fully engage ELs in classroom instruction designed to address the language demands of today’s challenging grade-level content instruction.
Colleen Anderson has been an educator for over 40 years in Iowa, Texas, and Minnesota. She served as an Assessment Consultant for the Iowa Department of Education for 9 years coordinating the ESL assessments as well as both formative assessment initiatives and state-wide assessment programs. She currently is the owner of ACCESS, LLC, a national educational consulting firm specializing in student assessment.
Natalie French serves as the Director of English for Speakers of Other Languages for the West Des Moines Community School District. She is a former ESOL Curriculum Lead, ESOL teacher, and Spanish teacher. She has directly worked with junior high English learners in addition to supporting programming and professional learning for all English learners and staff in the district. In collaboration with the ESOL department in WDM, she has worked to develop and facilitate professional learning to support all teachers in working with culturally and linguistically diverse students. She has experience at the district and building level in organizing and administering language assessments and the ELPA21. Natalie has also collaborated with the state of Iowa and the ELPA21 consortium in the development of the ELP Standards Training Modules. At the district level, she has facilitated learning focused on the standards with all ESOL teachers and building PLCs.
As a contributor to the ELP standards development since 2012 and their implementation in both professional development and the assessment system to measure ELP achievement, I wish to bring the results of a state collaboration with experts to a wider audience. Previously, I have been a state and district Title III administrator, and an EL teacher.