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Shelton Gets $2.4M Grant To Help English Language Learners

Chris Clouet, Shelton superintendent of schools
Chris Clouet, Shelton superintendent of schools Photo Credit: File Photo

SHELTON, Conn. --  A $2.4 million grant will fund a collaborative effort for five years to provide greater opportunities and help for Shelton students who are English Language Learners.

UCLA Center X is partnering with the Shelton Public Schools to launch an Exc-EL Leadership Academy site in Shelton, announced UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Science.

“Helping all students to succeed is central to our mission," said Chris Clouet, Shelton superintendent of schools. "We know our EL students are like all young people — full of hope, dreams, and potential. This project will help us to nurture that potential more effectively.”

The multi-year project will employ a data-driven, tiered approach to instruction. It will build on community partnerships to create personalized, expanded learning opportunities for students who do not speak English as their first language.

The project was made possible by a grant from the National Professional Development Program.

The grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition, will provide $2.4 million in funds over five years for the collaborative effort. The funds were activated in September.

The Shelton schools join existing Exc-EL districts in Tarrytown and Ossining, in New York, expanding the number of school sites from four to 12.

Early results from ongoing research with Exc-EL schools indicate a positive effect on the results in reading and mathematics assessments for English learners, the statement said.

Teams of educators will be trained in research-based instructional techniques by Exc-EL coaches who have proven to be effective with English learners.

The teams will meet regularly to discuss the students’ progress and explore their strengths and challenges, with the aim of differentiating instruction and creating effective school and community-based interventions for students, the statement said.

The Center for Secondary School Redesign, Exc-EL’s school redesign partner, will provide coaching and support for personalized learning environments.

Recognizing that English Learners often deal with life issues well beyond the traditional school day, community partners will provide multiple supports for these students as well as their families to empower students and families to take an active role in learning, as well as taking leadership roles within the community, the statement said.

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