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JP Schools Launches Strategic Plan for English Language Learners

Jefferson Parish Schools is adopting a new approach to educating its growing number of students who do not speak English as their first language. The district launched an English Language Learner (ELL) strategic plan that will go into effect for the 2019-20 school year.

“We believe every child can learn at a high level and that all children deserve our best,” said JP Schools Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “In order for us to keep our commitments to every family we serve, we’re prioritizing access, opportunity, and equity for our English learners.”

The ELL strategic plan has three goals: increase the academic achievement of ELL students on statewide assessments; develop all teachers and leaders in the ELL instructional practice, pedagogy, and cultural awareness; and increase ELL parental support. To meet those goals, the district is expanding its Spanish dual language programs, establishing newcomer programs, hiring English as a Second Language coaches to support educators, and creating individualized instruction plans for all ELLs.

Dual language is a rigorous academic program offered to students who speak English or Spanish. As students progress in the program from pre-k to 5th grade, they gradually learn both languages. Research shows that dual language students also outperform their peers academically. The program will expand from two elementary schools in 2018-19 to 12 in 2019-20.

Newcomer programs are “schools-within-a-school” for recent immigrant students who speak little or no English and often have little formal education. Students will learn literacy, English, math, social studies, science, and physical education, while also becoming accustomed to school socially and academically. Newcomer centers will also focus on developing family connections and providing services. Nine middle schools and eight high schools will house newcomer programs.

“In districts across our nation, students who are not native English speakers struggle to achieve in the classroom and graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers,” said JP Schools Executive Director of English Language and Equity Karina Castillo.” As outlined in 2024, we’re putting systems into place to support our diverse learners and their families,”

Prioritizing access, equity, and opportunity for all students is one of the priorities outlined in the district’s strategic plan 2024: The Future Our Kids Deserve. Approximately 14% of the students in JP Schools have limited English proficiency, the highest in Louisiana. The ELL enrollment for JP Schools has grown from 3,705 in 2008-09 to 8,242 in 2018-19. Every day in classrooms throughout our district, around 49 different languages are spoken by our students.

Jefferson Parish Schools is the largest and most diverse public school system in Louisiana and the 98th largest in the nation. Our system of 85 schools serve around 50,000 students on both sides of the Mississippi River. With approximately 7,000 employees, JP Schools is one of the largest employers in Jefferson Parish. Our district exists to provide the education our students deserve to succeed in life and make our world a better place.

Schools w/ Spanish Dual Language for 2019-20 (*piloted dual language in 2018-19)

  1. Alexander Elementary
  2. Birney Elementary*
  3. Boudreaux Elementary
  4. Clancy-Maggiore Elementary
  5. Douglass Elementary
  6. Green Park Elementary
  7. Greenlawn Terrace Elementary
  8. Hearst Elementary
  9. Riviere Elementary
  10.  Terrytown Elementary*
  11. Keller Elementary
  12. Roosevelt School

Schools w/ Newcomer Programs for 2019-20

  1. Adams Middle
  2. Ford School
  3. Gretna Middle
  4. Harris Middle
  5. Livaudais Middle
  6. Marrero Middle
  7. Meisler Middle
  8. Riverdale Middle
  9. Roosevelt School
  10. Bonnabel High
  11. East Jefferson High
  12. Ehret High
  13. Grace King High
  14. Helen Cox High
  15. Higgins High
  16. Riverdale High
  17. West Jefferson High