Homewood Schools is proud of its diversity, and nowhere is that exemplified more than with our English Learners (EL). Homewood students represent over 30 different languages and cultures which serve to enrich our school community. According to research, it takes the average EL from one to three years to acquire the social language that is needed to function on a daily basis. However, it takes approximately five to seven years to acquire the language skills necessary to function in a academic setting.
Homewood teachers have a plan to help students meet this challenge (link to Title III program description). Working with each student’s regular classroom teacher(s), Homewood EL teachers help provide students with the English language skills necessary for success, which may include supports in comprehension, speaking, reading, writing, study skills, content vocabulary, and cultural orientation. In addition, EL teachers provide assistance to other teachers through the development of a plan which outlines accommodations and suggestions for scaffolding instruction. Finally, Homewood Schools provides several avenues for translation services which help ensure effective communication between home and school.
All students new to Homewood must complete a Home Language Survey (HLS) as a part of the registration process. If the HLS shows a language other than English spoken in the home, students will be administered a screener to determine qualifications for EL services. If identified as EL, a plan will be developed to provide ongoing support for the student. Each year, EL students will take the ACCESS assessment to determine progress in English acquisition. The results of the ACCESS test help provide additional direction for EL plans. Once a student scores cumulative 4.8 or higher on the assessment, the student exits the EL program. EL teachers will monitor the progress of exited students for an additional four years.
For more information on Homewood’s EL program please contact Shannon Dennis at the Central Office or one of the EL teachers in the schools:
Edgewood: Nona Thomas
Hall-Kent: Abby Becker and Stacie Brooks
Shades Cahaba: Alli Phelps
Homewood Middle School: Georgia Miller
Homewood High School: Jenny Harvey and Claudia Sale Casalino