Admin

Language Policy

Carver Middle School
Language Policy

Purpose:
At Carver Middle Schools our students, staff, and parents come from many different backgrounds, cultures and countries, thus creating a diverse school community.  Whilst the majority of our students speak English as their primary language, we have a significant number of Creole, Haitian Creole and Spanish speakers.  We aim to promote and celebrate our diverse community population at Carver Middle School. 

Our students spend approximately 40 minutes, 5 days per week in English curriculum classes known as “English Language Arts”.  Our English curriculum is based on the Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS) as well as the standards and practices of IB Language & Literature in our IB classes.  Teachers in all subject areas incorporate the strategies essential to mastery of the English language such as writing, reading, listening, and speaking.

As an IB school, we understand the responsibility and shared a belief that learning and communication must include multi-cultural understanding and respect. The primary language of instruction is in English, however, all teachers have undergone/are undergoing extensive training in the principles of English as a Second Language (ESOL) teaching and learning and using appropriate strategies which help students attain mastery of the English language. OCPS educators and administrators are encouraged to complete the ESOL Endorsement Courses. All instructional staff is required to have the minimum required number of hours of ESOL credit to be in compliance with District guidelines. All teachers on campus receive 60 hours of ESOL training; teachers of Language & Literature and Intensive Reading receive 300 hours of ESOL training. This training prepares teachers to support our ESOL students in a positive learning environment.  

In an effort to assist students who are not learning in their mother tongue we provide sheltered instruction, bilingual testing accommodations, and hiring of bilingual teachers in some classrooms. When necessary, materials published in the mother-tongue language are sent home or given to students, so parents/guardians may participate in their child’s education.

Our media center supports students in their mother tongue and carries a limited stock of Haitian Creole and Spanish books and has the capacity to borrow books from other school libraries on request. Communication between the school and family is provided in English; other languages are available upon request via the translation services at OCPS. Carver Middle School follows all state legislation regarding the inclusion of English Language Learners (ELLs) as well as strong support from OCPS district representatives.

Guiding Principles:
Carver Middle School understands that:
• Language learning will be consistent and age-appropriate across the curriculum. All subject teachers are language teachers.
• Language learning will be differentiated to meet the needs and learning styles of all students in formative and summative assessments.
•Language learning will support the development of skills and understanding in the instruction of English, as well as in the instruction of Spanish as a second language for IB/other students.

Language Profile Language of instruction (Language A): English 
Language acquisition (Language B): Spanish 

The language policy is a collaborative effort of faculty & administration. This policy will be reviewed and revised every 2 years by a steering committee that includes representatives of the instructional staff, curriculum leaders and administrators. This policy was created in December 2018. The Language Policy will be displayed alongside other documents and policies on our public website.

Current school home language summary: on the date of publication, 10 different languages are noted as home languages of our students. The largest percentage (about 80%) is English, followed by Haitian Creole (about 8%). Other home languages include Creole, Spanish, French and other languages. 

Carver Middle School and OCPS understand the importance of a student’s/family’s mother tongue. OCPS provide specific services to students who are new to the USA and speak languages other than English. Documents from the school district office are published in several languages. When possible, we communicate with parents and students in their mother tongue for meeting announcements, testing information and parent conferences.

Students are referred for a language assessment based on information provided during school registration. If placed in a program for English Language Learners (ELLs), they are monitored according to state legislation. ELLs who are new to our country within the last year are enrolled in a Sheltered Language Arts class and an Intensive Reading class. This course helps students learn English as well as cultural norms. We also have a paraprofessional/ESOL Compliance Specialist who rotates between classes using a “push-in” model to assist in classes which rely heavily on reading and speaking English.
Literacy and learning: Students who do not score at least a Level 2 on the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) are enrolled in an intensive reading class based on their test scores. All Carver Middle School students are assessed five times a year to determine whether students are on track to meet expected growth (e.g. i-Ready). Students in intensive reading classes use i-Ready online lessons to help them improve their proficiency in reading. The scale scores and placement levels in i-Ready help teachers target important areas of need and enable them to make decisions for individual instruction. As students reach higher levels of achievement, they may qualify to exit the intensive reading class. Most students in intensive reading do not enroll in a language acquisition course because they are already working to master English. 

At Carver Middle School, the ESOL Compliance Specialist is responsible for working with guidance counselors to ensure that we are providing the language to help our students in order to achieve success in their subject classes. 

Support for language learning is provided across all subject groups. Before school, students can visit the Writing Center and the tutoring program in the Media Center to get homework help from peer tutors and teachers. Individual teachers provide after/before school/lunchtime tutoring.

Carver Middle School administrators and teachers collaborate on literacy programs, including:

  • A Literacy Council that meets regularly to brainstorm and plan literacy events
  • The Battle of the Books and other book clubs
  • Essay Contest
  • Saturday writing workshops prior to FSA Writes & Saturday tutoring
  • Spanish elective course for Spanish Speakers to help develop literacy
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Black History Month
  • English language development with online practice through Rosetta Stone & Imagine Learning
  • A schoolwide writing program that promotes the use of Thinking Maps and graphic organizers in all content areas
  • The Modern Woodman oration contest
  • An annual schoolwide poetry/spoken word event
  • The Disney Dreamer & Doer event
  • Martin Luther King essay contest

Additional support tools and services that are provided for language learners include:
● Translation dictionaries for classroom and assessment use
● Multilingual resources available in our school library

Home Language Total for all students (835 students) 1. Nov 2018
Home Language Total 835 students

Arabic 1 0.12%
Creole 68 8.14%
English 669 80.12%
French 3 0.36%
French Creole 1 0.12%
Haitian Creole 38 4.55%
N/A 1 0.12%
Other 2 0.24%
Spanish 50 5.99%
Urdu 2 0.24%

 

The Language Policy is reviewed every 2 years by the steering committee and administration team. This policy was written and implemented in December 2018.