Last week at the Edmonton Public Board Meeting we heard a presentation from our administration, our schools, and our students about helping students who are English language learners (ELL) be successful in Edmonton Public Schools.
Edmonton Public Schools is committed to providing welcoming, safe, inclusive and responsive learning environments for all students. We have been welcoming newcomers to Canada into our classrooms for years. Our current ELL population is supported through multi-disciplinary teams in Inclusive Learning and four reception centres, for family orientations, assessments, consultations, coaching and professional development for teachers and staff. Community partnerships play a valuable role in supporting newcomers in our schools.
The number of students identified and coded as ELL, as of September 30, 2015, is 22,437. This includes 166 early learners and 1,625 Kindergarten students. This is an increase from 12 613 identified students in 2010-11.
These numbers continue to grow. The classroom of today looks very different than it did twenty years ago. Our schools are incredibly diverse with many students coming from many different backgrounds around the world.
Edmonton Public Schools is part of a city-wide coordinated response plan to support the Syrian newcomers, and for decades have been partners in welcoming refugee and immigrant students from around the world. I am very proud of the efforts taking place in our schools and the warmth the greater Edmonton community has shown to supporting these students and their families.
Please see a .pdf “winter language guide” made by students to help new students adjust to our Canadian winters: (larger file, contact me michael dot janz at epsb.ca and I’ll email it to you) Older students helped create a multi-lingual guide to winter for future newcomers. A practical and humorous guide to have the most fun in the snow!
Please see our EPSB English Language Learners report: http://www.epsb.ca/media/epsb/ourdistrict/boardoftrustees/boardmeetings/2015-16/february16/03-SuccessforEveryStudent-EnglishLanguageLearners.pdf