Curriculum: Instructional Equity
Farmington Public Schools networks with districts around the country to support the academic achievement of minority students. Our membership in MSAN, the Minority Student Achievement Network, provides us with relevant research and promising practices to keep our instructional strategies aligned with the needs of our students. Please follow this link to learn more about MSAN: www.msanetwork.org
Due to the significant concentration of language minority students who are learning English as a Second Language, the Farmington Public School District, through the Bilingual / ESL (English as a Second Language) Department, provides programming and services intended to teach the bilingual student English as quickly as possible, while at the same time supporting their transition to the mainstream classroom.. The services provided vary depending upon the level of English proficiency. These services include an Intensive English Program offered through the Newcomer Centers, small ESL group tutorials, literacy groups, native language support, and one-on-one service. Bilingual/ESL teachers and Bilingual Instructional Assistants that closely reflect the language backgrounds of our students staff the Bilingual Program.
The goal of the Farmington Bilingual / ESL Program is to raise the level of English proficiency of the students as quickly as possible so that they can function within mainstream classes, and avail themselves of the curricular and extra-curricular offerings in the district.
The Bilingual / ESL Department also offers an extensive teacher training program intended to enable teachers to include bilingual students in classroom activities, taking into consideration their language backgrounds and varying abilities. This training includes culture specific discussions, training in modifying and differentiating the curriculum, SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol), Second Language Acquisition Theory, and other related topics.
In an attempt to respond to the linguistic and educational needs of newly arrived immigrants to the district, the Bilingual / ESL Department operates Newcomer Centers that provide a supportive transitional environment intended to help students acquire communicative English language skills. In these centers, the students are provided with an orientation to the U.S. society and school system, as well as English language support, individualized attention, and a multi-cultural focus on students taking pride in their culture.
The Newcomer Center at the elementary level is team taught with a multicultural classroom approach, and is open to a limited number of children who have attended English Speaking schools for less than one year. This insures that newcomers are not segregated and are provided with English Language models, as two thirds of the class is comprised of native English speaking children. Our Elementary Newcomer Center is located at Beechview Elementary School. Our Upper Elementary ( 5th, 6th grades) Program is located at Warner Upper Elementary. Newcomers at the middle and high school levels are exposed to English language models by participating in elective classes in the mainstream, and ideally entering content area classes as they become more capable and equipped to receive general educational instruction. Our Newcomers at the 7th, and 8th grade levels attend East Middle School, and our High School Newcomer Program is at Harrison High School.