District Parent Meeting

The EL Department hosted the first District Parent Meeting of 2018-2019 on Monday, October 22nd.   The goal is to continue supporting our district vision of establishing partnerships with parents and addressing our families’ needs.  Our focus this year is on instructional strategies that make connections between the expectations of school and learning at home. Our ELD Specialists recruited parents that were willing to bring back information learned to share with other parents at their child’s school.

The parents were actively engaged in four rounds of small group instruction led by the EL Trainers.  The EL Trainers focused on Reading Foundational skills that are closely aligned to the Michigan Department of Education Essential Practices for Early Literacy.

Oral Language Development – Visual Thinking Strategy

Phonics and/or Word Work – Frayer model supporting Academic Language

Guided Reading – Echo Reading and Dyad Reading to emphasize fluency

Writing – Expanding sentences with a focus on Parts of Speech

New Teacher PD- Culturally Responsive Teaching

Ameena Elder and Nadra Shami facilitated an hour long presentation titled “Culturally Responsive Teaching: Getting to Know Your Arab Students” to 55 new teachers across the district.  This presentation examined the mismatch between Arab home culture and US school culture in order to support the advancement of educational equity in the classroom. Participants developed an understanding of the cultural capital students bring and how implementation of culturally responsive practices can impact social and academic success.  Our department received positive feedback following the presentation.


ELD & Title 1 Meeting: Focus on Essential Practice 3

October ELD & Title I Meetings

Our monthly day of professional learning with the ELD specialists and Title 1 teachers was a success.  For targeted professional learning secondary and elementary are divided into separate groups.  The focus was on the Literacy Essential Practice #3 – Small Group Instruction. Some of the topics addressed included explicit instruction, fluency techniques and comprehension strategies.  We also discussed the importance of giving ALL students an opportunity to grapple with grade level text as some of our best instructional moments are in small groups.


Starting the School Year with Teaching and Learning

New Teachers PD

The EL Department welcomed newly hired teachers on August 14th with a full day professional development.  The professional development included planning with the standards in mind and writing content and language objectives.

Teachers engaged in a strategy

Essential Practices in Literacy

The EL Department welcomed ELD Specialists back by rolling out Michigan’s Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy.  The purpose is to “increase Michigan’s capacity to improve children’s literacy by identifying a small set of research supported literacy instructional practices that could be a focus of professional development throughout the state.”

ELD Specialists collaborating together ELD Specialists collaborating together ELD Specialists collaborating together

SIOP in the Secondary Content Areas

New secondary teachers actively engaged in an overview of Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) and Language & Literacy in a session designed for their specific content—SIOP for Science, SIOP for Social Studies, SIOP for Math, and SIOP for English Language Arts .

Teachers engaged in a strategyteachers engaged in a strategyTeachers engaged in a strategy

District Keynote – A Focus on PLCs

The district was fortunate to have Eric Twadell, Ph.D., Superintendent of Adlai E. Stevenson High School from Lincolnshire, Illinois as the Keynote speaker on August 23, 2018.  Dr. Twadell had an engaging presentation to support the PLC Process which will help us move from “Good To Great.”

selfie with Superintendent Maleyko

“Summer-Full” Learning

A Collective Statewide Coaching Collaborative

The EL Department Team attended the Collective Statewide Coaching Collaborative in Lansing in June.  The overarching goal is to provide ongoing professional learning and opportunities for collaboration for Early Literacy Coaches and Leaders.  Participants were supported to utilize the Essential Practices in Literacy and the Essential Coaching Practices to plan effective supports.   The intended outcomes also included developing skills for helping educators meet the literacy needs of every child in every classroom every day.

WIDA LEA Advisory Committee

The WIDA LEA Advisory is made up of two representatives from each of the four regions that make up the WIDA member states (Northeast, South, Midwest, and West).  Nominated representatives serve on the LEA Advisory for a two-year term.  Educators serving on the LEA Advisory Committee have opportunities to directly share input with WIDA.  I have had the opportunity to serve on the committee since 2017, when I was nominated by the Michigan Department of Education.  During the most recent  meeting attended on June 26-27, 2018, a range of topics were discussed.  The eight LEA Advisory members were presented with information from WIDA leaders followed by the opportunity to share their input in order to inform and support the consortium’s work.

AFT – ELL Educator Cadre

On June 28, 2018, Ameena Elder, one of our EL Trainers traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the ELL Educator Cadre.  The ELL Educator Cadre is made up of twenty representatives from across the nation.  Educators serving on the Cadre have the opportunity to provide expertise, guidance and raise awareness about the growing EL population across the country.  The Cadre members review AFT policy on the education of ELs, advice the AFT on special projects such as Colorin Colorado and help develop materials on professional development for educators who work with ELs in various educational settings.


Professional Learning Communities

The EL department attended the Professional Learning  Communities at Work Institute in  Lincolnshire, Illinois on July 30-August 1, 2018. We attend many engaging sessions such as:

  • Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap: Liberating Mindsets to Effect Change We are excited to bring back our knowledge from the institute to the district.
  • English Learners and PLCs
  • Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap:  Whatever IT Takes in Elementary Schools
  • Protocols for Results Turning Data Into Information
  • Bringing the Four PLC Questions to Life:  Systems That Ensure ALL Students Learn
  • Unpack and Make Yourself Comfortable Answering Critical Question One
  • Living a Fully Engaged, High Energy, Well-Balanced Professional Life!
  • Getting Started: Building Consensus and Responding to Resisters

We are excited to use the gains from this learning experience to help build our schools and district into a results-oriented professional learning community!

Parent Meeting: Things to Do with Kids this Summer

The EL Department hosted another New Parent Meeting on Monday, May 14, 2018 to continue supporting our district vision of establishing a partnership with parents and addressing their families’ needs through school and community outreach.

The purpose of the meeting was to invite representatives from several community outreach organizations to share resources and support with a focus on Things to Do with Kids this Summer.  The information provided included:

Hype – Camps and Program offerings, Fadia Farhat

Hype Athletics Community supports the development of diverse athletic participation and competition, educational tutoring and literacy development, and social awareness including mentoring, counseling, life skills training and substance abuse education and prevention.  The facility includes a swimming pool, basketball courts, and a female-only gym. Flyers were given to parents that describe the variety of programs offered at the two Hype locations.  In addition, information about the SMART bus system that can provide transportation to and from each location was discussed.



Henry Ford Centennial Library Library Card Applications and Resources, Daniel Sczomak and Kristen Bussell


The library representatives discussed free resources available and what is needed to obtain a free library card at the three libraries in Dearborn.  Parents were given applications to complete and return to the library. Daniel and Kristen discussed the free programs and resources the library offers for all ages including;

  • Summer reading programs
  • Collections of books in Arabic and English
  • Monday and Thursday evenings ESL Conversation Circles for adults
  • Audio CDs for loans
  • Books that help prepare for the citizenship test
  • Magazine and newspapers in Arabic
  • Website Resources

Dearborn Parks and Recreation – Camps and parks with recreational playground programs, Erica Lyght



The City of Dearborn has seven community parks that offer vast recreational opportunities like organized sports, scheduled picnics and gatherings, and community playscapes.  The summer programs are taught by counselors who are certified teachers and certified college students.  Erica shared flyers and the website, http://dearbornfordcenter.com/, that list the various summer programs including; outdoor activities, arts academy, outdoor aquatic programs and a variety of sports programs.  She also explained the membership options that are available.



Dearborn Police – Community Safety and National Night, Corporal Daniel Bartok


Corporal Bartok encouraged parents to be engaged within the community.  He discussed how police officers in the community are there to ensure students are safe in schools, that they are highly  visible during significant community events, and to create an open dialogue with the community and their children regarding seeking help when needed.

The Annual National night is being held on Tuesday, August 27, 2018 from 5-8 pm.  This free event will feature fun activities like a bounce house for kids, a dunk tank, music, police equipment on display and a chance for residents to see various police and fire vehicles up close.  The purpose of National Night Out is to send a message to criminals that “neighborhoods are organized, working with police and are fighting back against crime.” Increasing awareness of crime prevention programs is another key element of the program.

Presenters share information with parents.

Summer STAND – Students Taking a New Direction, Hassan Ozeir

Dearborn will hold their annual summer STAND program.  Supervised fun,

transportation, and lunch will be provided at NO CHARGE.  Students are selected on a first come, first serve basis and fosters leadership skills, participation in community service, includes character building activities while having fun this summer.  The students will enjoy structured arts and crafts activities and then donate products to charities, team sports and activities, and performances such as art and talent shows. Hassan shared with parents the details such as;

  • Register on online and/or call number on website
  • Applications are turned in to Student Services office by May 31, 2018
  • Program runs 9-3 p.m., June 26 – August 2nd
  • Upcoming 3rd grade – 8th grade are eligible to attend



Colorin Colorado! Resources – Summer Reading Tips


We provided Summer Reading Tips for parents translated in Arabic. These one-page parent tips offer easy ways for parents to help kids become successful readers.


Dearborn Hosts MDE-Sponsored Workshop

The EL team engaged in a two-day WIDA workshop at ASC sponsored by MDE.  The workshop titled Scaffolding Learning Through Language  supports WIDA’s core mission to provide equitable learning opportunities for multilingual children and youth with diverse cultural and linguistic experiences.  Scaffolding UP signifies a shift from understanding scaffolding as being the routine supports that students use to seeing scaffolding as a set of dynamic practices in the classroom.

EL Team members working collaboratively to complete a task.

PPT Slide from workshop

Colorin Colorado in Dearborn Schools

Colorin Colorado  will showcase Dearborn Public Schools on an upcoming project.  The goal is to create a produced video piece and companion resources about the ways in which Dearborn schools support ELs, immigrant students, and their families.

Their initial visit to Dearborn was on April 13, 2018 by Christian Lindstrom.   The purpose of the preliminary visit was to help arrange filming schedules, logistics, and necessary permissions before filming.

During this visit, Christian had the opportunity to explore how Dearborn comprehensively and systematically supports students and their families, specifically immigrant and English Learners.  She started her day by sitting in on a parent meeting hosted at Salina Elementary, followed by parent interviews about their experience in the country and the school.

She also visited several classrooms where newcomers were scheduled.  She observed whole group instruction, teacher-led small group instruction as well as student-centered group work. Additionally, Christian interviewed support staff, including social workers, parent liaisons, counselors, secretaries, ELD Specialists as well as building and district administrators.

Christian was also welcomed into the homes of two families.  She was given the opportunity to interview them and learn about their experience coming to the United States and their journey learning a new language and acculturating.

Teacher and students in the classrom

SIOP Professional Learning Opportunity this Summer

Moving ELs Toward Proficiency by Implementing SIOP

Date: July 17, 18, 19, 2018
Location: Wayne County Community College District -EPAC Room
Downriver Campus
21000 Northline Road
Taylor, MI 48180

There is NO FEE for this workshop and LUNCH is provided.  Participants should purchase the text and bring it with them.

Outcomes for Participants:
• Analyze SIOP components by actively participating in structured speaking, reading, and writing tasks.
• Apply strategies for English learners by planning and adapting them for use in the classroom.
• Infuse formative assessment into daily instruction

Required text: 99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Learners with the SIOP Model 1st Edition by MaryEllen Vogt and Jana Echevarria. This book is practical for classroom teachers and has an excellent overview and essential features for each component. In addition, it gets right to the lesson planning using the components.



MSU Global Educators

On Friday, March 23, MSU students from the Global Educators Program (GEP) led by Dr. Margo Glew visited Dearborn.  The partnership with Dearborn has been seven years long.  The yearly visits to Dearborn have been a very positive experience for the students and a highlight of the program.

They spent their day visiting classrooms and then gathered for a culminating task and reflection led by the EL Department team. The focus was on positive classroom environments, instructional strategies, student engagement and parental involvement. Thank you to the staff at Edsel Ford HS, McCollough-Unis, Henry Ford, Geer Park and Miller for opening their doors.

Students collaborating to complete chart about their school visit. Students collaborating to complete chart about their school visit. Students collaborating to complete chart about their school visit. Students collaborating to complete chart about their school visit.