Schools and districts with little previous experience in providing education to English language learners (ELLs) can sometimes face challenges as they try to design effective educational programs and may be unsure of how to proceed. We collaborate with schools and districts to help them identify system-wide needs through comprehensive needs assessments of their English as a second language (ESL) programs. These ELL program needs assessments are flexible, research-based tools, tapping on data collected from interviews, observation protocols, focus group protocols, and surveys which collect information from a variety of sources: teachers, students, parents, administrators, and community members. After the needs assessment is completed, we look at the data with school leaders and collaborate to develop an action plan for the improvement of the ELL program.
Our specialists also use a set of research-based protocols for thoroughly examining a school's or district's policies regarding ELLs. Based on this review, we make recommendations for improving policies, to ensure that all students are held to high standards and have access to challenging and culturally responsive academic materials and programs.