Multilingual Learner Programs
42 Beaver Brook Rd. Suite 1A Danbury, CT 06180
Phone: (203) 790-2805
Fax: (203) 790-2809
Vision and Mission
Vision: Danbury Public Schools aspires to advance ALL learners to their highest potential.
Mission: Danbury Public Schools, in partnership with families and the community provides transformational learning experiences, designed to nurture thoughtful and prepared graduates.
Department Goal: 100% of Multilingual Learners will develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, which will increase English proficiency in their ability to negotiate and convey meaning using writing processes and presentation strategies in English.
In our department we believe in ensuring equity and advocating for our students socially, emotionally, and academically by leveraging their strengths and talents, so that they feel empowered to use their voices to become productive, contributing and successful members of the community.
Danbury Public School System recognizes that, Multilingual Learners (MLLs) must acquire an additional culture and language. Students will acquire a level of English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing that will allow participation in the mainstream academic program.
There shall also be opportunities for children who are dominant in Spanish and Portuguese to participate in bilingual educational programs. Goals and objectives for Multilingual Learners are similar to those established for the regular school program and are designed to bring MLLs to the same educational performance level that is expected of English dominant children.
Definition of the ESL Program
"English as a second language program" means a program that uses only English as the instructional language for eligible students and enables such students to achieve English proficiency and academic mastery of subject matter content and higher order skills, including critical thinking, so as to meet appropriate grade promotion and graduation requirements.
Instruction is always presented in a meaningful context and it is categorized by three phases: ESL I (Beginner), ESL II (Intermediate), and ESL III (Advanced). These phases are based on a child's English proficiency. Children begin their second language acquisition in the Danbury Public Schools by starting somewhere in these phases. The outcome of this instructional process must enable children to listen, comprehend, speak, read, write, analyze and think in English.
Elementary Grades K-5
The nature of the ESL program at the elementary level is a pull-out model where MLL students are grouped by language proficiency and seen during a separate block of instruction during the regular school day. This model supports the mainstream classroom while providing English Language Development. All educators share the responsibility of educating our MLL student population, not just the Bilingual or ESL teachers. We see ourselves as "language teachers" regardless of the specific content area we teach.
Alignment of curriculum between ESL/Bilingual and Mainstream is accomplished through the use of grade level "Strategies and Resources Protocol" that reflect the integration of services model and our curriculum. In addition, students receive English Language Development and academic vocabulary instruction.
Newcomer Program : This program is designed for students who are new to the school (less than 10 months) and have little or no English proficiency, and/or interrupted formal education. The program is offered at schools where 10 or more newcomers in grades 3-5 are currently enrolled.
Mainstream Classroom Instruction/Co-Teaching: This component will increase the amount of time the ESL teachers provide direct instruction to MLL's in the mainstream classroom and reduce the time MLL's are removed from the classroom for small group instruction. The main goal of an appropriate inclusionary program is to provide adequate instruction and resources so that the Multilingual Learner (MLL) can achieve academically.
Pull-Out: In ESL pull-out programs students from one or more classrooms or grade levels attend special intensive language classes for part of each day. In other cases, the ESL specialist may work with MLL's in their own classrooms and acts as a resource to their regular classroom teachers.
Middle and High School Grades 6-12
Four levels of ESL classes are offered at the secondary schools. At Danbury High School, Sheltered English classes in the curriculum content areas are offered. These classes are taught by regular classroom teachers who receive in-service instruction on ways to make curriculum area content comprehensive for EL's. (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol -SIOP)
An itinerant CT TESOL certified teacher provides ESL services to the MLL student population in the non-public schools.
"Program of bilingual education" means a program of instruction in which eligible children are placed until such time as such children attain a level of proficiency in English which is sufficient to assure equal educational opportunity in the regular school program, including, but not limited to, educational experiences to enable eligible children to become proficient in English, subject matter instruction in the dominant language of eligible children, and provision of opportunities for eligible children to participate with and learn from children for other linguistic and cultural backgrounds that:
Makes instructional use of both English and an eligible student's native language;
Enables eligible students to achieve English proficiency and academic mastery of subject matter content and higher order skills, including critical thinking, so as to meet appropriate grade promotion and graduation requirements;
Provides for the continuous increase in the use of English and corresponding decrease in the use of the native language for the purpose of instruction within each year and from year to year and provides to the use of English for more than half of the instructional time by the end of the first year;
May develop the native language skills of eligible students; and may include the participation of English-proficient students if the program is designed to enable all enrolled students to become more proficient in English and a second language.
BILINGUAL MODELS in Danbury
(Based on CT State Law)
School-based Spanish bilingual programs are offered at all schools. School-based Portuguese bilingual programs are offered at: Ellsworth Avenue, Hayestown Avenue, King Street Primary, Morris Street, Park Avenue, Shelter Rock, South Street, Stadley Rough, Broadview Middle, Rogers Park Middle, and Danbury High.
Elementary Grades K-5
Spanish and Portuguese Bilingual Programs are offered at the elementary level. These are school-based Spanish and Portuguese bilingual support programs that consist of a combination of "pull-out" and/or "push-in"/co-teaching approaches for eligible K-5 students.
Middle School: Secondary Grades 6-8
A magnet Spanish and Portuguese bilingual program is offered at Rogers Park Middle School to serve Spanish and Portuguese dominant students from both middle schools. This program provides bilingual classes in the content areas (mathematics, science, and social studies). These classes are co-taught by certified content and bilingual teachers. Additionally, students attend classes which focus on English language development.
Danbury High School: Secondary Grades 9-12
High School Grades 9-12:
Spanish and Portuguese bilingual programs are offered, allowing Spanish and Portuguese dominant students to attend content area classes supported by native language instruction, in the areas of mathematics and social studies. Sheltered English classes complement the program in other content areas.
A Spanish or Portuguese bilingual program consisting of a two year sequence supported by ESL language arts and content-area classes allows first and second year eligible Spanish dominant students to attend classes taught in their native language and English.
The bilingual teachers make instructional use of both English and Spanish or Portuguese enabling students to achieve English proficiency and academic mastery of subject matter content. All bilingual programs provide for the continuous increase in the use of English and corresponding decrease in the use of the native language for the purpose of instruction. English is used more than half of the instructional time by the end of the first year.
All bilingual programs include, by design, English-as-a-second-language (ESL). ESL instruction uses only English as the instructional language and enables students to achieve English proficiency and academic mastery of subject matter content and higher order skills, including critical thinking, so as to meet appropriate grade promotion and graduation requirements. This integration between content and language instruction is essential even when students, enrolled in bilingual programs, receive instruction, in at least some of the content areas, through their native language.
Mandated Secondary ESL Program at Danbury High School: Secondary Grades 9-12
Four levels of ESL English Language Development are offered at Danbury High School. All MLL's attend a double block ESL class to strengthen their development of English. In addition, Transitional English class allows advanced MLL's and LTSS students a smoother transition to the mainstream.
In the content areas, Sheltered English classes are offered. These classes are taught by regular classroom teachers who receive training on how to make subject-area content comprehensible for MLL students. Students in these classes are "sheltered" in that they do not compete academically with native English speakers since the class includes only MLLs.
Additional ESL classes have been added to accommodate the needs of an ever growing influx of MLL students and to respond to LTSS guidelines.