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Three Steps to EL Success: How Community ISD streamlined compliance workflows and improved instruction

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Ellevation is proud to play a role in serving school districts as they help their English Language Learners achieve their highest aspirations. We are also delighted to showcase the gains schools are making with the help of our tools, including our Ellevation Strategies. As part of our Success Stories series, enjoy this piece about Community Independent School District in Texas and how they are creating a culture of accountability among all stakeholders for improving support for their ELs.

As the English Learner population grew, by nearly 200% in eight years, and compliance demands increased, Community ISD was ready for a new plan. In partnership with Ellevation, the district implemented a three-step strategy to improve compliance and instruction:

Step 1

Manage data more efficiently With English Learners representing over 20% of the student population, LPAC administration and data management across multiple campuses had become time consuming and frustrating. Ellevation’s data views and powerful reporting tools helped the EL team save time and make informed programmatic decisions.

Step 2

Integrate monitoring as a common practice Without a standard way to track current and reclassified students, Community ISD turned to Ellevation’s digital monitoring forms for a consistent and convenient way to fulfill compliance requirements. Beyond just compliance, the new monitoring process enabled teachers to gain a better understanding of the needs of their ELs.

Step 3

Use Ellevation Strategies to help differentiate instruction for ELs As teachers learned more about their students’ needs, it became clear that a shift in instruction was necessary. In order to better scaffold lessons and reach their ELs, teachers integrated Ellevation Strategies into their lessons, curriculum and professional development.


Creating a Culture of Accountability

By leveraging creative PD opportunities, the EL student experience has been transformed.

Pineapple Charts

With the knowledge that teachers are always sharing best practices among each other, Community ISD created a way to amplify that collaboration. A central pineapple chart enabled teachers to invite each other into their classrooms to observe and learn…all informally: no rubrics, no evaluations. Seeing instructional activities happening in colleagues’ classrooms increased adoption of new techniques, helping differentiation for ELs spread down hallways and across grade levels.

Bingo

Upon entering their prep area, teachers found a large and colorful bingo board filled with various Ellevation related challenges. The instructions were simple: Pick a square by signing your name and add the activity to a lesson plan and take a picture of the activity in action. As teachers documented new activities, the rows and columns of the bingo board filled up…and engaged teachers collected PD credits and enjoyed catered lunches!

Speed Dating

Challenge issued: “Speed Date” your way through Ellevation Strategies by choosing four new instructional activities to try in the classroom…in just one month. Challenge accepted: Teachers focused on improving their instruction recorded video of their students engaging in new activities as evidence of participation and learned key techniques for helping ELs access academic content alongside their peers.

“Ellevation allows teachers to see our students in three dimensions…as smart, capable kids who are making progress.” - Margarita Solis, Bilingual/ESL Coordinator