Last month, the Oregon Department of Education evaluated the progress of English learners in the Redmond School District and determined the district has made progress at all levels, improving learning outcomes for this important group of students. It’s another example of how the Redmond School District is living up to its motto, “Success is possible for every student.”
As a result, the Redmond School District will exit the HB3499: EL School and District Improvement Program. In the state’s review, it found progress for English learners at both the elementary and secondary levels.
In 2015, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3499, which sought to create an English Language Learner Strategic Plan that would address the academic disparities those students experience. It created benchmarks to measure student success and progress, and provided additional funding to districts that needed improvement.
In determining that RSD’s English learners had improved sufficiently, the state measured a variety of factors, including growth and achievement in math and English/language arts, as well as attendance and discipline.
The Redmond School District received about $180,000 each year for four years to put toward improving English learners’ outcomes.
Research has shown dual language education models are the most effective and successful program for English learners. As a result, RSD prioritized using the funds to develop its Dual Language Program, now housed at Hugh Hartman Elementary. “We focused the funding in the Dual Language Program because we believe that is a long-term investment in our students,” said Brittaney Cocciolo, the Redmond School District’s assistant director of student services who oversees English learners.
The district also used some of the funds on equity training, translation and interpretation support programs. During the same time, the district was in the early stages of implementing a new curriculum for English learners. “The new curriculum is focused on making connections between what is happening in core content classes and the English Language Development class,” she said. “That helps students understand their core classes and provides more context for their English studies.”