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Revolutionizing ESOL Education

By: Michael O’Day
Feb 13, 2024

Ramey School's Innovative Student Portraits

In the heart of Ramey School, a group of dedicated educators has embarked on a journey that promises to revolutionize the way teachers support their English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students. This transformational initiative began during a quiet summer break when inspiration struck like lightning, leading to the creation of ESOL student portraits. These portraits are changing the game, providing a comprehensive tool for teachers to better understand and cater to the unique needs of their ESOL students, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and effective learning environment.

Darcy Desarden, an Elementary ESOL Teacher and a passionate member of the ESOL Team, explains the motivation behind their innovative approach, saying, "Once we returned from our summer break, we gathered and brainstormed how to create comprehensive student portraits. We wanted to ensure that every teacher had access to a complete profile of their ESOL students, tailored to their unique needs."

Julia Portela, an Elementary ESOL Teacher, adds, "We included personal information, World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) individual student recommendations, active services like ESOL Special Education Speech/Language Impairment, and accommodations/modifications for each student. We also embedded WIDA individualized scores in listening, reading, speaking, and writing domains, considering the diversity of grade levels." These portraits align with WIDA CAN-DO-Descriptors, providing teachers with clear guidance on what to expect from their ESOL students, ultimately benefiting both educators and students alike.

Estarlin Arguedas, who teaches in the middle and high school, emphasizes the importance of these portraits in fostering effective communication with parents and during Special Services Team (SST) and Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. He states, "These portraits facilitate communication during parent-teacher conferences and make SST and IEP meetings a breeze. They're a valuable asset for all of us."

Indeed, the ESOL student portraits at Ramey School have become a game-changer for teachers. These comprehensive tools offer a holistic view of their students' needs, allowing for valuable observations and personalized instruction. Darcy Desarden emphasizes this by stating, "The ESOL portrait ensures that teachers have a comprehensive tool to meet the unique needs of ESOL students."

The innovative initiative didn't stop at creating these invaluable portraits. The ESOL Team went above and beyond, providing both hard copies and an online platform for teachers' convenience. Every teacher at Ramey School acknowledges the importance of these documents in their commitment to providing personalized instruction.

Moreover, this is just the beginning of the journey for the ESOL Team. They have plans to continually update and enhance the portraits to empower teachers in improving ESOL student outcomes. The dedication and innovation within the education community have paved the way for a brighter future for ESOL students at Ramey School.

Ramey School's ESOL student portraits are revolutionizing the way teachers access vital information, ensuring a more inclusive and effective learning environment. This remarkable transformation is a testament to the power of collaboration, dedication, and innovation within the education community, setting a shining example for schools everywhere. As the ESOL Team continues to refine and expand their initiative, the future holds even more promise for the ESOL students of Ramey School 

A group of dedicated educators embarked on a journey that promises to revolutionize the way teachers support their English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students when inspiration struck like lightning, leading to the creation of ESOL student portraits.
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