A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

School Reform and Student Diversity - September 1995

Table 5

Case Study Research Area #2C:
Design and Implementation of the Reform at the Elementary Grades

LEP Student Program

Use of L1 The school had the capacity for bilingual instruction through grade 6. Students developed literacy in L1 in the early grades. Beginning in grade 4, most instruction was in English except for new arrivals. Children were taught in L1 in the early grades; there was very little capacity for L1 instruction after grade 3. Spanish-speaking LEP students had language arts instruction in Spanish (2.25 hrs.) until they achieved literacy, at which point they transitioned to English during language arts and had social studies instruction in Spanish (45 min.). Upon redesignation, they received all instruction in English.

Hmong, Vietnamese, and Laotian LEP students received social studies instruction in L1 until they were redesignated.

80% of the instruction in pre-K through 1st grade was in L1. English was introduced gradually over the years, but L1 maintenance remained a critical component of the schools' program through 8th grade. Instruction in the upper grades was split evenly between English and Spanish.
Use of ESL ESL instruction was offered daily during Enrichment Time (45 minutes). ESL was used in conjunction with L1 instruction in the early grades. In the later grades, ESL was used for recent arrivals or for those students who needed extra support in English. Pre-transition Spanish-speaking LEP students received ESL instruction during social studies using the district's social studies-based ESL curriculum. During transition, they received ESL instruction during language arts.

Non-Spanish-speaking LEP students had ESL instruction during language arts.

LEP students had ESL instruction daily (one hour blocks).
Integration of LEP with EO/FEP students There was little instructional integration between LEP and EO students until 5th grade, at which time the classes became integrated. FEP students typically remained in the bilingual program, so there was LEP-FEP interaction. LEP students were integrated with EO students primarily through team teaching and the mixing of students for non-academic activities. LEP students were integrated with bilingual and EO students, as well as with students from different language backgrounds during the mathematics and afternoon rotations (from 11:15 until 2:20). All classes achieved a balance between English-dominant and Spanish-dominant students.
Assessment and Placement Practices Students who spoke a language other than English at home were assessed annually using LAS. LEP student placement and redesignation was based on the recommendation of the school Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC). Redesignated LEP students often remained in the bilingual program. Students who spoke a language other than English at home were assessed annually using IPT. LEP student placement and redesignation was based on the recommendation of the school Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC). Students were assessed and placed in classes according to their language arts "growth records" which are benchmarked against defined standards. Students are designated LEP and redesignated FEP based on district procedures. Students are first designated LEP based on their score on the FLA; all LEP students are tested annually on LAS. Advanced LEP students are tested annually on ITBS. Students are placed in classes to achieve a balance of English- and Spanish-dominant students.
Exit Criteria The school LPAC composed of two bilingual teachers, a parent, and the vice principalmade redesignation decisions that were informed by test scores and teacher recommendations. The school LPAC composed of the site bilingual coordinator, a teacher, and the principal reviewed LEP student records for reclassification. Exit criteria included a "fluent" assessment on the IPT and 40th percentile rankings in reading, writing, and mathematics on the SRA. The district required 40th percentile rankings on the ASAT, a "fluent" assessment on the IPT, a teacher recommendation, and a parent consultation. The district required a score of 4 or 5 on the ITBS for FEP status. Reclassified students did not exit the program at this school.
Approach to Transition At the early grades, instruction was primarily in Spanish with the proportion of instruction in English increasing as students progressed through the grades. Students learned to read first in Spanish and transitioned to English reading at about grade 3. By grade 4, the bilingual classes were primarily in English with support for students who were new to the country and for LEP students who were having difficulty in English. Students were exposed to oral English in pre-K through grade 1; English reading and writing were introduced in grade 2; students made the full transition to English in grade 3. In continuum classes, students received Spanish maintenance instruction beyond grade 3; in these cases, the teachers were able to individualize instruction based on each students developmental readiness. Students were placed in classes designated "transition" before they entered regular English classes. Spanish-speaking students transitioned from classes in which the medium of instruction was Spanish and non-Spanish-speaking students transition from sheltered English classes. Spanish-speaking students were placed into transition classes once they achieved a specified level of literacy in Spanish and met a specified English language standard. Non-Spanish-speaking students were transitioned once they achieved a specified level of English literacy. In some cases transitioning Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish-speaking students were integrated for transition classes. Transition to English was gradual and Spanish maintenance was emphasized. Instruction in the early grades was predominantly in Spanish with an ESL component. By the middle grades, instruction was divided equally between the two languages and this balance was maintained through the remaining grades.
Program Design for Recent Immigrants Students were placed into classes with continuing LEP students and provided with intensive ESL, as well as Spanish instruction to help them understand concepts and for clarification. In class, they were often paired with bilingual students.
Spanish-speaking newcomers were placed into Bilingual language arts classes. Non-Spanish-speaking students who entered in the primary level were placed into sheltered English language arts classes for students with very little English proficiency.

Middle and upper grade level non-Spanish-speaking newcomers were placed into the "Entry" class, serving grades 2-6. They were transitioned into sheltered classes within the appropriate wing once they learned a minimal level of English.

Newcomer students were placed into continuing classes. In the later grades, the instruction was approximately 50/50 English/Spanish. Newcomer students received additional ESL support.
Cultural Validation Students' culture was validated primarily by the high value placed on bilingualism. Also, the staff, teachers, and administrators were predominantly Latino, reflecting the student population. The office staff was bilingual; materials were printed in English and Spanish; and parents and families were welcome at the school. Cultural inclusion in the classroom varied by teacher. Student cultures were validated primarily through the use of students' primary languages and the incorporation of the cultures and traditions of their home countries into the social studies curriculum. The value placed on bilingualism, the curriculum focus on the Americas, and the diverse staff that reflects the student population were the most obvious ways in which the school validated the students' cultures.

[Table 4 Case Study Research Area #2B: Design and Implementation of the Reform at the Elementary Grades Curriculum and Instruction] [Table of Contents] [Table 6 Case Study Research Area #3: Role of Research-based Information at the Elementary Grades]