English Learner Talks: A Huge Success on the First Day at Henry MS

On Monday 150 English Learners at Henry Middle School had individual conferences to learn about the benefits and requirements of exiting the ESL program. The event organized by Henry Middle School and Multilingual Programs informed students about the critical components of TELPAS/STAAR, Linguistic Accommodations, exit criteria and goals for the year.

Each student had the chance to discuss their concerns and clarify doubts about their English Learner status. “We are having data conversations to talk about the type of support they are receiving and why they are in ESL. Sometimes students don’t know the reason for being in the program. After that, we are setting goals for the year and explaining that the expectation is to move one proficiency level every year,” said Principal Kenneth Brantley.

For many students, it is eyeopening to learn that the purpose behind TELPAS is to show growth and that they are advancing in English to exit the ESL program. “Some students are not aware of their data from previous years. They don’t know if they are beginner or intermediate. So this is building their awareness and helping them set goals to be highly successful on STAAR and TELPAS,” said the principal.

Multilingual Programs Specialist and Outreach Workers provided assistance with this task. “This is a great way to empower students with the knowledge they need to be successful and move forward with their educational career,” said Nereyda Salas, Programs Specialist.

The students that participated on Monday have been in ESL for the longest time. According to principal Brantley, “These are our highest need students. The goal is to start with 8th graders and then have conversations with English Learners in lower grade levels so that by the end of October we finalize the process with our almost 400 identified English learners,” he explained.

In the following four weeks Mr. Norman Dillon, ESL teacher, and Multilingual’s Programs Specialist, Nereyda Salas, will continue with the individual conferences and will make an additional informational talk with parents on September 27th, as well as in the EL Night (date TBD).

If your campus is interested in organizing these English Learner Talks, please contact your assigned ML Specialist to request them or send an email to Multilingual@HoustonISD.org

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