In 2011, Minnesota adopted the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards for English Language Development. Byron uses the state WIDA assessments as one indicator for student placement, along with Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) and district assessments.
Students who are identified as English Learners (ELs) should be served in an instructional program designed for ELs, defined as either an English as a Second Language (ESL) or Bilingual Education (BE) program by Minnesota statute. Districts have discretion in selecting appropriate language programs.
Classroom teachers have primary responsibility for all students, including those with English language learning needs. In addition:
- EL licensed teachers provide direct English language instruction to students in four domains of instruction: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing;
- EL licensed teachers provide consultation support to classroom teachers and student support staff, based on each student’s English language learning needs;
- Support staff (cultural liaisons, social workers, guidance counselors, nurses) provide resource services to EL students and their families;
- Paraprofessionals are used in limited ways to support the direct instruction provided by the licensed teachers; EL teachers align their curriculum and program with the district’s curricula in English literacy, WIDA national standards, and Minnesota state content standards.
The program used in Byron Public Schools are designed to meet varying needs across proficiency levels. Our first belief is that all students, when possible, should stay in the classroom and receive ELL support. However, we recognized that some of our newcomers may need additional support. In that case, pull out opportunities are available. The program of service will be clearly articulated and available to parents, staff, and students.
EL teachers align their curriculum and program with the district’s curricula in English literacy, WIDA national standards, and Minnesota state content standards. District 531 offers the following EL program models: Pullout English Instruction, Collaborative Teaching Model, and Sheltered Content Classes (Secondary)