Programs and Goals
Waco ISD offers the following language programs for ELs: Transitional Early-Exit Bilingual Program, Two-Way Dual Language Immersion Program, and ESL Programs (Content-Based and Pull-Out ESL Programming).
Waco ISD’s Bilingual and Two-Way Dual Language Immersion Programs are provided at the Elementary Level and ESL programming is available at the Elementary and Secondary Levels. Moreover, our school district has a Newcomer Program with a specialized curriculum and talented staff who provide direct instruction to our students who are in need of the most intensive linguistic support. Most important, we strive to not only support students as they acquire English as a second language but also honor and welcome each student’s culture and first language as a means of transitioning to learning academic content in the English language.
Each month the English Learners Department hosts Professional Development and Toolkits for teachers of English Learners. Meetings are data, product and action driven and most important, highlight the important work of Waco ISD’s ESL and Bilingual teachers. Ongoing teacher academies focus on the science of reading instruction, instruction of the writing process, the use of portfolios as authentic assessments in gauging the level of rigor of instruction, Sheltered Instruction, and adaptations of instructional practices to increase the literacy skills and learning outcomes of ELs. A collaborative professional learning model is used with specific literacy based professional learning topics offered throughout the school year.
The English Learners Department also hosts monthly Toolkits in a variety of topics to increase the knowledge base of sound instructional practices and strategies for teachers of ELs. Previous English Learner Department Toolkits have featured some of the following topics: Incorporating the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPs) into Lesson Plans, Word Walls: How to use Your Classroom Word Walls to Increase Learning and not as a Decoration, Small Group Reading Instruction and ELs: Instructional Rounds for Middle School ESL Teachers, Anchor Charts, Holistic and Graphophonic Reading Strategies for ELs, and Apps for ELs.
We wish to extend our warmest regards to all of our wonderful teachers, students, parents and administrators and hope that you will visit our department webpage to learn more about our department and the services we provide for English Learners and their families. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have questions or need assistance.