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Dyer-Kelly spearheads innovative co-teaching and newcomer program to meet student needs

Dyer-Kelly Elementary School implemented a new collaborative teaching model this school year as a way to focus on academic language development for all students.

This school year, Dyer-Kelly’s 504 student population included more than 300 English Language Learners (ELL). A closer look at the ELL student data found that 237 had a beginner level of proficiency in English and that 216 of those students have been in schools in the United States for less than two years.

In response to the school demographics, Dyer-Kelly developed a new project in an effort to meet the academic and social needs of the diverse student population utilizing the co-teaching model and newcomer classes.

The purpose of the co-teaching model is to strengthen academic language development for all students utilizing a culturally responsive lens and assessment literacy practices. Focusing on the English language/art block, it involves two teachers in a classroom teaching, planning and assessing the students together in a collaborative environment.

“There’s always one person watching and there’s always one person looking for any needs that students might have. There’s always one person checking for understanding,” said Rebecca Frederickson, a teacher at Dyer-Kelly. “It really feels like we are addressing all the student’s needs.”

The newcomer classes are short-term, strategic and intensive classes taught by two teachers which ELL students attend for half the day. The classes focus on academic languages, such as basic English skills and foundational reading, and social-emotional support with the goal of monitoring students progress to gradually integrate them to a full day in their regular classrooms.

Emmily Garcia, a student at Dyer-Kelly, has been taking full advantage of the new programs.

“I’ve learned English here [Dyer-Kelly], and that's very helpful because I didn’t know English before,” said Garcia.

Learn more about the innovative programs at Dyer-Kelly through a video.