Parents, Teachers Attend ESL Meetings in Midland - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Parents, Teachers Attend ESL Meetings in Midland

By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Last month, Superintendent Ryder Warren informed parents the school district is labeled as "Accreditation Warned" after the state said the district's English as a Second Language (ESL) program is sub-par. Dr. Warren said he was the one to blame but he's wasted no time coming up with a plan to get the program back in gear.

On Wednesday, the district finished up their series of meetings which discussed the changes the ESL program will face in the 2013-2014 school year.

"We are going to move their kids very smoothly. They will be getting information after information after information," Joanna Rowley, Executive Director of ESL, said.

Each meeting had a very large turnout with at least 100 parents showing up to Wednesday night's meeting at Lamar Elementary.

The district plans to convert eight campuses to ESL campuses with administrators and counselors that can speak Spanish.

"Every teacher on the campus needs to learn how to teach these students because eventually they will have one of those kids in their classroom," Rowley said.

Anna Martinez was an ESL student at MISD when she was growing up and now her daughter is in the program as well. She says she doesn't really want her child to go to a different campus.

"I live in the Sam Houston district so I can't drop one off at one school and drive to the other school," Martinez said.

Another change the program will see is smaller class sizes, bringing the number of students from 22 to 18, something Martinez feels is a good thing.

"So they can, each kid has more time to explain to them, let them know what they're trying to teach them," Martinez said.

These changes are coming because for the last decade, ESL students have done poorly on their state exams.

"We can go back 10 to 12 years and on those tests it shows that our kids aren't doing well on those tests that the state mandates our kids take," Superintendent Ryder Warren, said.

"My daughter she tested and she didn't pass," Martinez said.

The main goal continues to be making sure the prepare the students to move on to English speaking classes. In order to exit the ESL program, students must pass the STAAR, Telepass and Woodcock-Munoz tests, and even after they are in English speaking classes, they are monitored for two years.
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