Enrollment at Emerald Park consists of 512 students. Ethnic minorities comprise approximately 74% of the student body, with the Hispanic population at 8.2%, African-American at 11.2%, Asian/Pacific Islander at 27.5%, and American Indian at .4%. Currently, 41 % of the student population receives free or reduced lunch. (OSPI, May 2009)
The student population includes a vast diversity of academic needs due to socio-economic status shift. Additionally Emerald Park also is a school who receives AYP students from two other elementary schools. It contains a growing percentage of children who require an enriched, challenging curriculum. To meet this challenge, school-wide programs in reading, writing, and math have been developed that include a variety of supportive and supplemental materials. Emerald Park also provides extended learning opportunities for ELL students after school hours. Emerald Park strives daily to meet the needs of all students in its school.
When comparing Emerald Park’s 6th grade scores to the district’s scores they are ten percent above the districts average in both reading and math. Because 38.2% of our students are failing standards in math, and in conjunction to our school improvement plan, we as a building have been looking over the WASL data from past years to present, in order to find where students struggle most. Through analyzing each math strand and teacher dialogue, we began to see an overall trend that most students lacked number sense; which hindered student success in all the other strands. This year we are trying to meet more regularly to discuss strategic ways to help our students improve in the area of number sense via student exploration with mental math and math dialogue. So far this has been an added value to our 6th grade team and student success is improving in our chapter assessments.
Kent currently does not pull ELL students for support. Instead we now as a general classroom teacher being asked to meet the needs of these students through integration of our daily instruction. This year Kent has trained all staff members in SIOP. “The term “sheltered instruction” is used to describe those instructional practices that help teachers make content more accessible and comprehensible for ELLs. One model of sheltered instruction is the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). The SIOP is research-based and field-tested. Teachers who used the SIOP checklist for lesson planning became more proficient in linking language and content in their instruction, felt more in control of their professional development, and increased their ability to accommodate different levels of proficiency in their classrooms (Echevarria, Vogt, and Short).”
“The thirty components of the SIOP lesson-planning checklist can be used with any curriculum or program, for students at any age or level of English proficiency. Experienced teachers recognize the SIOP components as effective teaching strategies for all students. However, it is the systematic use of all components to scaffold content and language instruction that provides the support that ELLs, even those who have “exited” from a special program or service, need to succeed in mainstream classrooms.”(click here to see more on SIOP) My outlook on this training is that it is great but we aren’t given any time to do anything with it, so it is just another resource that is sitting on my shelf waiting to be picked up again. I found it very intense to create lesson plans that follow their format; being that I teach seven plus subjects. However I am making a conscience effort to post objectives and process of unit plans in order to provide students with a clear understanding about what is expected of them.
GREAT ARTICLE ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY