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English Learner Guiding Coalition Update

English Learner Guiding Coalition Update

Last month, we kicked off our 4th Annual EL Guiding Coalition. Our coalition gained new members who will bring a fresh perspective and ideas to help us guide our district to continue to narrow the opportunity gap.

Our Why
We started our meeting by revealing this number…8,746. This number represents the amount of ELs we have in our great district of Klein ISD (which has actually increased to 8,924 since our September 18th meeting). Our “why” rests in this number. Our goal is to lead and support a collaborative change effort to improve student learning and performance for English Learners.

Learning Together
We spoke to the subject of Equity vs. Equality. We started our learning with an article written by Dr. Pedro Noguera. In his article, he addresses Equity vs. Equality. He compared the graphic to the state of education today. Dr. Noguera referred to equality as students all having access to the same opportunities.

But as you can see in the graphic, equity is to remove those barriers and create learning opportunities for EVERY child. After reading the article, we were able to self-reflect on how we are as ourselves, our campus, our district, and as a community.

Our members broke into groups and compared our guiding document, Profile of a Leader, to what their contribution is as an EL Guiding Coalition member. Each group focused on our four areas: Student-Focused, Relationship-Driven, Promise2Purpose Investor, and Forever Learner. From there, we conducted a gallery walk to read ideas and choose the ones that stood out to us.

Moving Forward Towards a Common Goal
Last year, some of the feedback we received was about the amount of time our members were spending off-campus. Our team brainstormed ways to maximize time and allow our goal groups to have more time to plan. This year, we decided to structure our meetings a little differently. Our solution was to meet three times a year and use this time to learn and grow together. In between those whole group meetings, we would meet as affinity groups. An affinity group is a group formed around a shared interest or common goal.

The remainder of our time together was spent attending breakout sessions on the different goals of our EL Guiding Coalition. Our Multilingual Team members spoke about where we started in 2016 and where we are today. Our goal was to provide members with a sense of ownership and an opportunity to be passionate about the purpose they chose.

In 2016-2017 the launching of our task forces was released. Goal groups created a rubric for campuses to use as they conducted learning walks. Schools were able to look at data and generate campus goals. Our Trainer of Trainers (ToTs) was also born from the first year, as well as the EL Boot Camp.

Year two was another successful year for our coalition. As we continued with our ToTs, we were able to target and monitor language acquisition. Another big celebration from year two was the 6 hours of EL Professional Learning all Klein ISD educators needed to attend.
Last year, we launched our P2P United event that showcased all the beautiful cultures that fill our schools. The DIDC approved 3 hours of EL Professional Learning as part of Exchange Day credit. The summer mini-conference gave our outstanding educators a way to share their successes with ELs and provide training to our staff. Although we did not reach our goal of closing the achievement gap in literacy by 5%, we narrowed it by 4% and are committed to continuing to work collaboratively to reach our goal!

Hear from Dr. Cruz and Mike Mattos as they help us celebrate!

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Best Public Schools in Texas
Klein ISD has an established 81-year history of excellence and innovation in education with unique pathways for EVERY student in our care to ensure learners are college, career, military, and life ready. With recognition for STEM, athletics, fine arts, and academics from highly-esteemed organizations, it is clear that Our Shared Vision of every student entering with a promise and exiting with a purpose is a reality for EVERY student who walks through our doors.

About Klein ISD
Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 87.5 square miles and serves more than 54,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.

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English Learner Guiding Coalition Update

by Kathy Vergara
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