English Language Learners

Skinner Middle School students bring many diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds to the classroom that enrich our school.  At Skinner, we believe every student’s home language and culture are assets that, combined with English language skills, help students achieve success in school and life.

Skinner’s English Language Acquisition (ELA) team works closely with the DPS ELA department to create and improve programs that value cultural and linguistic diversity and foster biliteracy for our individual English Learners (ELs) in equitable and rigorous learning environments.  This work toward efficient and effective techniques, that provide students with the English language skills they need to meaningfully and equally participate in mainstream English instructional programs, is supported and guided by the Consent Decree that you can read more about by clicking here.

Skinner ELA Programming & Supports:

Integrated Content and Language Development (ICLD)

At Skinner, all content teachers are trained and receive on-going professional development related to the implementation of rigorous, standards-based content instruction with intentional planning and supports for academic language, which is beneficial for all students and critical for English Learners (ELs) throughout their entire day.  This is done with the guidance of the acronym SERVE, which can be more deeply understood here.

Dedicated English Language Development (ELD)

While Integrated Content and Language Development (ICLD) is provided to all students at Skinner, students who are identified as English Learners (ELs), opted-in to services through parental permission, and not yet proficient on the ACCESS Trajectory (see below) receive 52 minutes of Dedicated English Language Development (ELD) through a special co-taught Language Arts class or a separate class period of ELD as a required Core+, elective class.

Co-Taught ELD in Language Arts

In this setting, English Learners are integrated into a Language Arts class with two teachers, the Language Arts content teacher and a specialized ELD teacher.  The two teachers collaborate to provide a balance between rigorous content instruction and explicit language instruction that fosters student growth in grade-level standards and language acquisition on the ACCESS Trajectory.  The SERVE ICLD model is deeply supported through flexible grouping and intentional planning in this model.  While the ELD teacher implements language acquisition progress monitoring and more direct language instruction and supports where it is needed for identified students.

Dedicated ELD Class Period

In this setting, ELs receive a dedicated 52 minute class period focused on explicit language instruction. Students are grouped by language proficiency on the ACCESS Trajectory.  In this class, a primary focus is placed on language instruction with a secondary focus on content.  Dedicated ELD is a daily period of time devoted to explicit instruction in how the English language works, the forms/structures of English (i.e. morphology, vocabulary, syntax, conventions, functions, registers), as well as the

language students need to participate in academic discourse and conversational language.  The PERMS acronym is used to drive effective language instruction in the Dedicated ELD classroom and can be viewed here.  Additionally, students are continually monitored by the ELD teacher in their language acquisition progress on the ACCESS Trajectory (see below).

WIDA ACCESS 2.0 for English Language Learners

ACCESS 2.0 is an annual summative assessment that assesses social and academic English language development in the areas of Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.  It is a state required assessment that meets the federal requirements for monitoring English Learners.  All students in grades K-12 who have been identified as English learners are required to take the assessment.  Data on this assessment and on-going progress monitoring in the ELD classroom align with the following trajectory:

When students achieve an overall score of 4.0+ combined with a literacy score of 4.0+ a Body of Evidence that includes grade-level proficiency on other measures and/or classroom work samples may be considered for re-designation as a mainstream EL, no longer requiring dedicated ELD.  Students who achieve this, are regularly monitored for at least 2 years to ensure academic success.  More information about ACCESS 2.0 can be found here.

Skinner Contacts

You can reach out to any of the following individuals with specific questions you may have about English Language Acquisition supports at Skinner Middle School.

Instructional Services Advisory (ISA) Team for ELD:

Lisa Rose – Language Content Lead & ELD Teacher: LISA_ROSE@dpsk12.org

Austin Bourdon – ELD Teacher: AUSTIN_BOURDON@dpsk12.org