English Learner Education

Heather Wojcik

Coordinator of English Language Education
Quincy Public Schools
34 Coddington Street
Quincy, MA 02169
Email: [email protected]

Mission Statement:

Our mission is to provide all English Learners (ELs) with appropriate English language instruction to acquire essential interpersonal skills and academic language to become viable members of their schools and community. In order to fulfill our mission, instruction and support must take place in an environment that fosters a positive self-image for each student and cross-cultural sensitivity from all members of the learning community.

Director’s Message:

The English Learner Education (ELE) Program is a district program that focuses on providing ELs Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) in all core content areas. The program offers high-quality English language instruction and support for ELs to meet academic standards in all subject areas.

All ELE teachers are licensed in ESL or Bilingual Education. They deliver well-planned sheltered instruction based on the most current educational research on Second Language Acquisition.

Our ELE teachers work together very closely in order to provide each individual EL with the best possible language instruction based on the child’s specific needs. In addition, we encourage active participation from EL families in improving their child’s acquisition of the English language and academic achievement.

The ELE Program provides continual support to these families through frequent communication, often with bilingual interpretation, to give parents a sense of responsibility for their child’s academic achievement and well-being. Initiatives such as EL parent support seminars for elementary school parents, after-school programs at elementary, middle, and high schools, and partnerships with two Asian community action programs have proved to be very successful for all involved.

We are proud to be involved with such a rich, diverse population in our city, and it is our goal to fully support our English Learners and their families in overcoming the challenges of adapting to a new culture, acquiring English, succeeding academically, and becoming valuable members of the Quincy community.


ELE Program - Elementary/Middle Schools:

At the Elementary and Middle School levels, ELE teachers use a “pull-out” method where students are given explicit English language instruction in a separate classroom from the mainstream classroom. Teachers use a variety of materials, texts, programs, and series to support the effective delivery of meaningful content and linguistic instruction. They also work closely with literacy and reading teachers. Students are grouped by both grade level and fluency level to provide them with the best possible learning environment to promote English language acquisition and the development of academic skills.

Sheltered content instruction is provided by teachers who have already completed or are in the process of completing the mandated SEI Endorsement Training. Texts, materials, and classroom instructions are modified to students’ fluency levels.

All English Language Development curricula are aligned to the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Standards as well as the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

ELE Program - High School:

At the High School level, ELE teachers instruct students in courses whose curricula reflect students’ fluency levels, grades 9-12. These courses offer explicit instruction in all of the language domains (listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar) and place a strong emphasis on the development of academic language proficiency. Again, All English Language Development curricula are aligned to the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Standards as well as the 2016 Revised Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

Teachers spend a great deal of time preparing their students for MCAS and ACCESS for ELLs exams through adapted test-taking strategies. Students at lower fluency levels are placed in sheltered content courses in core areas, such as math, history, science, and social studies. The ELE Program also provides special electives for low-proficiency students in Pronunciation and Wellness.

For struggling students with learning difficulties or possible gaps in formal education in their native countries, the High School ELE Program offers Skills and Literacy courses with a focus on academic language and skills. For students with learning difficulties, there is also an Academic Support class with individual students’ needs being addressed one-to-one by an ELE teacher.

Registration of New English Language Learners:

All students whose first language is not English and who have Limited English Proficiency entering the Quincy Public Schools should call for an appointment to register. The Central Registration Office is located at Quincy High school, 100 Coddington Street, Quincy MA. Go to the Bradford Library, 2nd floor. Registration hours are Monday and Thursday afternoon between 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. The telephone number is 617-376-3383.

WIDA Screener for English Language Proficiency:

At the Central Registration appointment, the registering student is given the WIDA Screener assessment as a diagnostic test to specify their initial English proficiency level prior to enrolling in school. This assists the Central Registration staff in placing the student at the appropriate level for English language instruction.

After the parent/guardian has signed the required forms, the Central Registration staff will place the student in the appropriate school with the recommended grade level.

Once students are part of the program, all ELEs are given the Access for ELLs assessment once a year in the winter. The scores of this test, along with comprehensive local assessments from ELE classroom teachers, are used to determine the progress of an EL through the 5 proficiency levels dictated by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE.) Like their native English-speaking peers, all English Learners are expected to take the MCAS Exam and pass as a graduation requirement.

Placement Review:

Based on local assessments, Access for ELLs, MCAS scores, and ELE instructor evaluation, students may be moved to a different level where they receive a more adequate amount of instruction. Options include exiting the student from ELE services, increasing or decreasing English language development scaffolding in an ELE class, monitoring the student, or promotion to the next level/course. Students are assessed according to the mandate of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


Once an English Learner meets the criteria for exiting from English Learner Education services, he/she will be reclassified as a Former English Learner (FEL). Current criteria for reclassifying a student from EL to FEL include reaching ACCESS for ELLs exit targets, recommendations of the ELE teacher(s), and/or appropriate success in meeting benchmarks in English Language Development in the classroom.

If an EL is determined to be ready to exit the ELE Program, he/she will be classified as FEL and placed on Monitor Status for four full years. Monitoring is especially important at all levels, (elementary, middle, and high school) for FEL students in order to evaluate progress and achievement after ELE services.

Graduation Requirements:

All English Learners entering Quincy Public Schools can receive a diploma after completion of local graduation requirements and successfully passing the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.) Local graduation requirements are found in the Quincy Public Schools’ High School Program of Studies.


EL Family Support:

Quincy Public Schools encourages active participation from EL families in improving their child’s acquisition of the English Language and academic achievement. The ELE Program provides continuous support to these families through frequent communication with bilingual interpretation, where necessary, to give parents a sense of responsibility for their child’s academic achievement and well-being. The following initiatives have been offered to ELs and their families:

  • EL parent support seminars for elementary school parents

  • After-school programs at elementary, middle, and high schools

  • Partnership with two Asian community action programs to provide resources and ESOL classes

  • Summer school courses

  • Bilingual support through translations of important documents and interpreters for parent-teacher conferences or meetings

  • Mentoring Programs and Homework help at middle and high schools

Massachusetts Department of Education:

English Language Learner information from the Department of Education