School Psychologists Presentation

School communities have staff who perform a variety of roles to make sure that educational needs are met for students.  We now have students who are past participants in the English Language Learner program as well as current participants in the ELL program in every building in our school district. This requires a level of  understanding of language influences in learning by everyone in a building, sharing in the goal of increasing graduation rates for students and also making sure that each individual child is reaching their highest academic potential.

We recently had the opportunity to visit with school psychologists during their PLC. Some of the topics we covered were:

(See also Making Family Conferences Successful)

The key focus in the conversation was how to gather information, in partnership with parents, bilingual liaisons, teachers and administrators and ask ourselves how language influences learning that is happening. Sometimes through this process of gathering information there may be additional influences besides language acquisition that begin to surface. When interviewing parents, some things to consider would be as follows:

  • Is the student also having difficulty speaking/reading/listening/writing in first language?
  • Does the student struggle with retaining information even after it’s been taught/explained multiple times?
  • Can they follow directions at home in first language?

Development in first language foundation and parent insight is a powerful piece in determining an appropriate plan for how to support learning when students seem to plateau in their learning. Any student that is being considered for the SAT process who is also an English Language Learner, should have a ELL parent interview conducted in order to begin to understand a child’s development in their foundation!


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