Our Professional Learning Model

Our Professional Learning Model:

We integrate research-based best practices for the specific strengths and needs of SIFE and Newcomer learners, including those who are most at-risk.

We personalize educator learning by providing professional development workshops paired with targeted instructional coaching. 

We build shared practice through peer-to-peer support, professional learning communities, and classroom inter-visitations both online and in person. 

We lead inquiry-based analysis of student data, including progress monitoring in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and foundational literacy skills.

The Professional Learning Cycle

Three Essentials of EL Instruction

1. Get to know your learners, and be culturally responsive.

ELs need teachers who meet them where they are and show respect for who they are.

  • Honor student culture, language, and ethnic and racial background.
  • Allow them to bring their full selves into the classroom.
  • Build on the many resources they bring to the classroom.
  • Keep in mind the challenges and traumas they may be facing.

2. Teach language and literacy through meaningful content.

ELLs learn language as they engage with meaningful content and interact with one another.

  • Meet students where they are and provide scaffolds, grouping and supplementary materials to accelerate literacy and language skills.
  • Design student-centered lessons with opportunities for speaking, reading, writing and listening. 
  • Teach participation and collaboration strategies. 
  • Encourage the strategic use of home language.
  • Monitor and assess student progress.

3. Provide a safe and welcoming environment.

Students learn best and take risks when they feel a sense of belonging and safety.

  • Model respectful, interested, and kind interaction. 
  • Teach and practice self-management strategies.
  • Teach social awareness and appreciation for diversity.  
  • Maximize routines and organization. 
  • Set high expectations for all students.


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Short, et. al. (2018). The 6 principles for exemplary teaching of english learners. Alexandria, VA: TESOL Press.