District Administration June 2017 - 20

BeyondtheNews
ELLs learn all year long in Palm Springs
Want to start an
extended learning
program for ELLs?
Here are tips from Eric Antuna, coordinator of English learner programs
for Palm Springs USD, and Mandy
Gonzales, a district ELL teacher:
1. Find people. Palm Springs USD's
program is possible because a core
group of about a dozen teachers and
faculty are committed to helping
students before or after school, on
Saturdays and during vacations.
Teachers are paid a standard hourly
rate, and the extra hours are voluntary, Antuna says.
2. Pick the right school site. The
district centralizes its winter, spring
and summer extended learning programs at Cathedral City High School.
Districts should choose a site with
a principal willing to support the
program by keeping classrooms open
and recruiting teachers, Antuna
says. The cost to keep rooms open
is minimal. Air conditioning or heat
is used only in session rooms, and
many custodians are already working
on school grounds cleaning during
those times.
3. Plan for flowers. Classes during
winter, spring and summer programs
are built around a theme, such as
California's super bloom, an explosion of spring wildflowers due to
above-average rainfall after an
extended drought. Students studied
subjects such as flower anatomy and
how the human eye registers what it
sees. Students also watched videos
and read articles about the super
bloom. To prepare for the weeklong
sessions, teachers and faculty are
trained in lesson plans a week or two
before the program begins.

20 June 2017

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. It could be a recipe
for other districts.
The three-year-old program targets
newcomers, long-term ELLs and students who qualify as early advanced or
advanced on the California English Language Development Test, says Mandy
Gonzales, a Palm Springs USD teacher.
Weeklong vacations and summer
breaks can set students backward in language development, says Eric Antuna,
coordinator of English learner programs
for Palm Springs USD. Now, these students can practice their language skills
with classes such as ceramics and dance.
"Giving students the electives really
gives them something to write about,
speak about, tell their classes about,"
Antuna says.
The year-round program was
inspired by the work of Laurie Olsen,
director of the Sobrato Early Academic

By Jessica Ablamsky
Language model, a pre-K through 3
initiative of the Sobrato Family Foundation that develops the language and literacy skills of Spanish-speaking English
learners. Olsen's research recommends
more time in school, smaller classes, and
highly motivating and engaging activities, Gonzales says.
Extended school year opportunities
for ELLs at Palm Springs USD include:
* Before- and after-school intervention.
Students in grades 4, 5 and 8 can practice speaking in and listening to English
in small groups of six to 10 children.
The program extends the school day
by 40 to 60 minutes. The intervention
is based on need, Gonzales says. ELLs
tend to start to become long-term English learners in grades 4 and 5, and the
goal for grade 8 students is to provide
extra support so students can be reclassified as fluent English speakers before
entering high school.
* Newcomer Wednesdays. Every Wednesday, middle schools end the day early

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.

District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration June 2017

District Administration June 2017 - Cover1
District Administration June 2017 - Cover2
District Administration June 2017 - 1
District Administration June 2017 - 2
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