Fairview Elementary sees influx of ELL students

Fairview Elementary School is a melting pot of cultures. One of Calcasieu Parish School Board’s “hubs” of resources for English language learners, Fairview’s student population is 35 percent Hispanic, up 5 percent from the previous year, said Principal Lori Bertrand.

Fairview is home to eight to 10 different Hispanic cultures, said Laurie Cunningham, English language coach. Over the last 10 years, the school has seen an influx of immigrant families and its staff has worked hard to create a learning environment equipped to meet the unique needs of ELL students.

Fairview has had the same ELL staff for nearly a decade, said Bertrand and the program has grown to include a bilingual teacher, numerous bilingual aides, a home liaison and curriculum that is designed to meet students wherever they may in their literacy development.

“It’s take a lot to build the emotional connection that is necessary to help truly grow an English language learner,” said Cunningham. However, the emotional connection, Cunningham said, is what allow students to trust the staff and in turn reassures parents in their decision to choose Fairview.

The growing ELL population has positively changed the way teachers reach students because most ELL students are mainstreamed with English proficient students and have the assistance of a bilingual aide when needed. Many teachers have learned they “can’t just spit out information,” said Cunningham. “We have to look at this (curriculum) a little differently. We’ve got be a little more creative,” she said and such “creativity” has helped raise the performance of all students.

Fairview’s commitment to ELL students goes beyond academics. The school hosts an annual “Fiesta Fun Day” where students share their foods, dances and other cultural activities unique to their home countries and also staffs an interpreter to assist parents when a concern arises. “We try to embrace the diversity — cultures, home life and identity. We don’t want to take that away,” said Bertrand.

“Strong ESL education is a benefit for the whole family,” said Monique Roberts, CPSB world language and ESL consultant. Bi-literacy opens countless new doors to these students, many of whose families come to the U.S. seeking refuge from devastation, for asylum or to work, she explained.

””English language learners

life

Monica Smith’s teaching career began with Tiny Steps

Local News

Pro Watercross: National championships return to LC this weekend

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:What’s latest on our voting?

Crime

LaGrange student arrested for bringing gun to school

life

Mom’s school lunches look complicated, but they’re not

Local News

Entergy customers will pay $3.2 billion to reimburse company for repair costs

Local News

United Way to open Entergy Utility Assistance Program Wednesday

Local News

Low potential for tropical cyclone development in southwest Gulf

Crime

8/16: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Elton water services to be shut off at 4 p.m. today

Crime

Sheriff: Teenager shot during Kinder back-to-school party

Crime

8/15: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

LC man charged in Saturday shooting

Local News

Feds oppose unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago warrant

Crime

BREAKING: Mother charged with murder after 6-month-old left in car five hours

Local News

LAPAW in dire need of fosters, donations

Local News

Voting machine debate: Conspiracies question integrity of elections

Local News

Heart for volunteerism at core of Care Help for 40 years

Local News

Impairment, speed suspected in fatal crash

Crime

8/14: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

SW La. school lunch menus Aug. 15-19

Local News

Texas man dies when Peterbilt crashes

Business

Business, industry thought leaders George Swift and Daniel Groft optimistic about future of SW La.

Informer

The Informer: Mowing pad being created for cable barrier along I-210