Kremmling " East Grand school board hears English program’s success story
April 21, 2008
Two student groups passionate about their educational programs made presentations before the East Grand Board of Education at its Tuesday, April 15, meeting.
Making the presentations were students, parents and staff members of the school district’s English Language Learner (ELL) program as well as those involved in the Grand County Center for Excellence.
ELL director Ingrid Anderson explained that the district currently has 97 students enrolled in its English Language Learner program. She said the “biggest language groups” that currently are being dealt with are Spanish and Lithuanian native speakers.
Anderson explained her students range in their English language skills from beginner to advanced. She explained that to be “successful in the classroom, these students need to know 10,000 words.”
To demonstrate what can be accomplished with an effective ELL program, Anderson presented six native Spanish-speaking students who spoke to the board and read compositions they had written about their experiences. All of them said last school year was difficult because they lacked English skills, but after learning more of the language with the help of the ELL program, they now enjoy school and said their grades have improved greatly.
Also speaking to the board were a couple of parents of ELL students who thanked the school district for providing the program for their children.
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Later in Tuesday’s meeting, the board was presented with the District Accountability Committee’s recommendations for improving the ELL program. Among its recommendations were reallocation of staffing, providing additional staff training and funding for classroom materials, and developing annual goals for the program to measure progress.
The other student group to speak at Tuesday’s meeting represented the Grand County Center for Excellence, which is and elective social studies program for Middle Park High School.
The center’s Director Larry Norman told the board they were their to voice some complaints. The main issue of concern, he explained, was that the high school administration is apparently refusing to give academic credit for some of the students’ work with the center.
After further discussion, it became clear the main problem involved a couple of students who had just joined the center’s program this semester. Superintendent Robb Rankin explained that the problem with giving academic credit to those students is that the high school’s credit system is based on a semester program while the center’s was set up as a quarterly program. He said credit could not be given for a quarter’s work.
After more discussion, including pleas by parents and students, Rankin decided to set up a meeting between himself, Norman and Middle Park High Principal Dale Fleming to work out the credit problem as well as some fee issues involving the use of the high school’s Tech Lab.
Rankin specifically asked that Middle Park High senior Aaron Wood be a part of that meeting after Wood argued so articulately for the granting of credit for the center’s program at Tuesday’s meeting.
In other business Tuesday, the board approved the bill of sale of Granby Elementary’s preschool modular classroom to the town of Granby. The town wants to move the modular to Rafferty Park, where it will be used as a restroom/changing room for the park’s tennis courts and indoor soccer arena.
Rankin also updated the board about the start of construction work on additions at Middle Park High School. He admitted the front of the school had become “a construction zone,” but said it was “all well within code.”
Because of the construction work, a portion of the high school’s student parking lot has been fenced off, which resulted in several students parking illegally around the building, resulting in tickets from the Granby Police. Rankin suggested that students begin parking in the football field’s parking area to avoid further problems.