We had another successful district parent meeting for new families in Dearborn Public Schools. Representatives from Member Focus shared the different credit services they provide. The next session on “Know Your Rights” was led by two local attorneys and was the group’s most meaningful session. Syrian American Rescue Network (SARN) followed with more information to assist families. Thank you to all that participated!
ELD Specialists lead round table demonstrations where they shared English Language Development strategies to use when working with English Learners. The strategies focused on 1) Oral Language Development, 2) Phonics and Word Work, 3) Guided Reading and 4) Structured Writing. A big thank you to everyone who shared their expertise.
Title I staff participated in a workshop on culturally responsive instruction. The session included 1) an overview on developing cultural proficiency, 2) what teachers should know about economically disadvantaged students and 3) an examination between home and school cultures. Many participants expressed their gratitude for the “eye-opening” workshop.
On Friday, March 24th, MSU students from the Global Educators Program (GEP) led by Dr. Margo Glew visited Dearborn. 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 at ASC for a culminating task and reflection. The focus was on positive classroom environments, instructional strategies, student engagement and parental involvment. Thank you to the staff at Edsel Ford HS, Salina Intermediate, McCollough-Unis, Henry Ford, Geer Park and Miller for opening their doors.
“Thank you SO MUCH for your hospitality and hard work setting up the school visits. Several students have told me that ‘older’ GEP students have encouraged them to take advantage of this trip opportunity because it is truly a highlight of their time at MSU! It is always a really big day of learning and new insights. Thank you so much for making that happen for our future educators.” -Dr. Margo Glew
Current events are hitting home with many students, and teachers have to be ready to talk about these topics. We know that, in many classrooms, students are asking about the recent events, including President Donald Trump’s executive orders.
Schools with immigrant, undocumented and refugee students are likely to see heightened anxieties and fears among students due to two executive orders: 1) a directive to start immediate construction on a border wall with Mexico and 2) a 90-day ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, and a 120-day suspension on refugee admissions into the United States (indefinitely for Syrian refugees). Recent U.S. population data shows that over 17 million children ages 18 and younger live with at least one immigrant parent. This means that students with direct ties to other countries account for about 25 percent of children in the United States—and these students are in our classrooms every day. We also know that immigrant and refugee students are more concentrated in particular states, school districts and schools.
So…What do I say to students?
Your voice—and other students’ voices—matter. A full 80 percent of the educators who responded to a post-election survey described heightened anxiety and concern on the part of students worried about the impact of the election on themselves and their families. The biggest fear of all comes from immigrants; nearly 1,000 teachers specifically named “deportation” or family separation as a concern among students. In this context, it’s important to give your students a safe space to voice their fears and concerns. Depending on your grade level, this could be through academic conversations around a text or article, opinion writing prompts, artwork, journaling or simply a one-on-one during recess or lunch.
I’m here for you. Students of all ages need to know they have an advocate and an ally in you. As their teacher, counselor, coach or administrator, students will look to you as a trusted adult outside of their family for help and optimism in the face of the unknown. As an educator, you are one of the first to witness the impact of increased enforcement against immigrant, unaccompanied and refugee students.
Also remind students that there are other people—beyond their classroom or school community—on their side. Find examples of office holders, volunteer attorneys, community members, activists and protesters who have issued statements (op-eds, social media posts, announcements, messages on posters and so forth) in support of students or students’ identity groups.
You have the right to be in this school, learning, no matter where you are from or what your citizenship or residency status is. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the landmark 1982 court case Plyler v. Doe ruled that public schools must enroll and register every child who resides in their geographic boundaries, regardless of the child’s or parents’ immigration status. This means that students are in a safe place while they are at school, and it is important to emphasize that repeatedly to students.
Here are the facts. It’s hard to keep up with each new piece of information—and determine whether it’s true or an opinion—as the news is streaming in. It’s important not to let students repeat false information or perpetuate myths about immigrants and Muslims, as this can cause more anxiety and tension. Curate accurate, reliable articles for your students, and insist that they engage with facts.
There is a lot happening right now; it’s OK to be confused. Sometimes educators don’t have the answers. Sometimes we stand before our students without the right words, and that’s OK. While we want the best for our students and their families, it’s important not to promise them anything you cannot guarantee. These are uncertain times and new policies and protests are happening simultaneously.
Source: http://www.tolerance.org Submitted by Lauryn Mascareñaz on January 30, 2017
A team from Ann Arbor Public Schools visited Dearborn Public Schools to learn more about the successful EL program in place. They are in the process of evaluating their EL program and were particularly interested in guidance toward the push-in delivery model for EL support. They were enthralled to see how ELD Specialists work directly with general education teachers to support the content delivery and language development of English Learners. The visit included opportunities to see successful models of coaching and co-teaching as well as collaboration that works. Thank you to the district Language and Literacy coach and the administrators, ELD Specialists and classroom teachers at Edsel Ford High School, Woodworth Middle School, William Ford Elementary and Maples Elementary for opening their doors and sharing their expertise.
A team of educators from Kentwood High School spent an engaging day at Fordson High School on Tuesday, December 17, 2016.
Kentwood Public Schools has experienced a significant growth in their EL population in the past year and recognize the need to restructure their EL services and professional development. The team of administrators and teachers were interested in the scheduling of our EL students, course placement, procedures and protocols, resources, staffing, and professional learning. The visit included classroom observations in Language Arts, Biology, World History, Algebra 2, and Chemistry. They also had time to debrief with the EL Department and Fordson staff afterwards. The team was extremely impressed by the consistency and emphasis on explicit content and language objectives, student engagement, student articulation of tasks, and the positive climate and culture in every classroom they visited. In addition, they appreciated the opportunity to discuss our professional development structure and the impact it has on staff which was evidenced as they visited classrooms.
A great big THANK YOU to the Fordson staff for their warm welcome and for allowing our visitors to learn from our incredible Dearborn Public Schools staff.