Farwest 1506829398

California Public School District Hopes to Support ELLs

This school district is looking for a supplementary tool to support English language learners with phonemic awareness and reading comprehension.

State: California Number of Students: 18,948
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 4.1%
Grade Level: PK-8 English Language Learners: 10.7%

School Context

This is a medium sized public school district in an affluent community that has a large number of non-English speaking families. The district has been on a path to integrate technology for the past couple of years through their 1:1 iPad program.


State of Technology

While the students in the district come from families with high expectations, there is a large population of non-English speaking students. At the elementary school level, the teachers are trained to support students with early literacy. However, by middle school if students do not have english language skills, the teachers often do not know what to do or how to support that students. These students need equitable support around literacy, which for them often involves basic phonemic awareness and reading comprehension. Ideally, they would have a tool that could evaluate a student's level and then differentiate material based on their assessment. They could also level set the students through their CELT score if the tool did not have its own diagnostic. These tools should be able to fit into a project based learning context, however, the key priority is that students are getting differentiated learning opportunities that help them increase their basic english language skills.

At the elementary school level, the district uses Raz Kids or Starfall. At the middle school level, there are no tools to support students that are age appropriate. So, instead teachers often do not know what to do with students who have low level English skills. Often times they try to differentiate by sitting them next to students with high language skills or try to boil down the reading to simplify them. There is not currently a lot of differentiation happening, or if there is it is entirely based on the teacher and not consistent across the audience.


Tech Needs & Requirements

Teachers should not be creating any content. Also, the more adaptive the tool is to set the pace and path for the student, rather than having a teacher do this by assigning it themselves, the better.

The tool must work on iPads. The district offers iPads. All students have 1:1 access to iPads starting in 4th grade. The district wants to be able to monitor student progress and show growth. Teachers should be able to take that data and incorporate it to adjust the rest of their instruction to support these students. Ideally, we would be able to export the data via CSV so we can send it to our data warehouse, but it is not a non-negotiable. The tool must be iOS compatible with no flash components. Ideally, it can integrate with student accounts through Clever or through the SIS Edupoint Synergy. However, this is not a deal breaker.

*Content From 2015

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