ELL

District Profile

There are approximately 70 English Language Learners (ELLs) enrolled in the Westwood Regional School District for the 2018-2019 school year. The first language for most of the ELLs is Spanish, though several other first languages are spoken by our ELL population. Some other first languages spoken by our students include; Arabic, Hungarian, Turkish, Japanese, Malayalam, Korean, Georgian, Portuguese, and Albanian.

Our district ELL program is a state mandated program. When a student enters the district, ELL instructors screen potential ELL learners to determine their level of English proficiency by using an online assessment called the WIDA Screener. If it is determined that the student is eligible for ELL services, then the student enters the program. Each spring the students take an online English proficiency assessment (ACCESS for ELLs 2.0) to measure the progress that each student has made with respect to their proficiency in the English Language. If the student reaches a certain benchmark (4.5) and meet other multiple measures, then the student exits the ELL program.

Most of the ELLs attend our elementary schools; however there are approximately 15 ELL students in grades 6-12. The ELL student population represents a diverse range of English proficiency. When it comes to English proficiency, a majority of the students operate at the beginner and intermediate levels. Students are either enrolled in a “sheltered program” where students work one period a day with a certified ELL instructor, while other students are enrolled in a “high intensity” program and receive ELL instruction for two periods each school day.

The Westwood Regional School District has five dedicated ELL instructors who work in five of the district schools. Susan Wahling spends her time instructing students at the high school and Washington School. Rosemary Fox and Bonnie Astudillo instruct their students at Berkeley School, while Kelly Le Parc instructs her students at Brookside School. Maria Hittinger teaches both French and ESL at the middle school.

Our five ESL teachers should be commended not only for helping their students learn to read, write, and speak English, but for helping to make sure that their families are successfully integrated into the culture of our community. This year, Mrs. Astudillo and Mrs. Fox will offer evening Computer Literacy Training for the parents of ELL students.

When asked to describe what it is like to work with the ELL community at Berkeley School, Mrs. Fox states: “Working with the ESL community is so rewarding. We are a family. We support our families in any way we can. Monthly parent meetings, programs, community outreach and academic support are just to name a few. We develop a relationship with them that carries over throughout their child's education and beyond.”

When asked to describe what it is like to work with the ELL community at Brookside School Mrs. LeParc states: “The students are enthusiastic and eager to learn; they love coming to ESL class! The parents are most appreciative and thankful of our efforts as teachers, a school community and as a district. The ELLs families are very warm, eager to help their children, and always with a smile. We are all part of the Brookside family. Our families are very diverse; we have students from India, Korea, Mexico, the Republic of Georgia, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica.”

If you have any questions about our district-wide ELL program please contact Dr. Jill Mortimer, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction.

If you have any questions about the high school ELL program please contact Mr. Michael Kenduck at 201 664-0880 Ext. 2070 or email me at michael.kenduck@wwrsd.org

Sincerely,

Michael Kenduck