HOWELL – The Howell K-8 School District has once again been recognized by the state for its English as a Second Language (ESL) program.
The New Jersey Department of Education recently recognized 11 districts for outstanding second language programs. The districts were honored at a ceremony in Trenton and will serve as models of best practices in world language, dual language, bilingual and ESL programs, according to a press release from the department.
The department developed criteria and reviewed applications to designate the 11 exemplary second language programs. The programs were identified through a process that included program review, as well as a site visit conducted by state officials, college professors, and world language and bilingual/ESL program supervisors.
The department recognizes exemplary second language programs every two years, and the 11 model programs will serve as resource centers for other districts for that period. Educators can visit the schools to observe exemplary practices in second language teaching, learning and assessment in the classroom, according to the press release.
Administrators and teachers also will be able to discuss issues of mutual concern with staff from the centers, as well as have the potential for collaboration on their second language programs.
Howell’s review took place during the 2017-18 school year, so the recognition is in effect for 2018-19 and 2019-20. Howell was initially recognized in 2010 for its K-8 ESL program. In 2008 the district had a K-5 recognition.
Jacqueline Moore, supervisor of professional development/state and federal programs for the Howell school district, said administrators strive to continue to serve as a model for New Jersey and beyond.
Recognition “is certainly not something we expect, it is something that if we did not get we would really be crushed at this point because we are holding ourselves to that high standard. So we strive to always improve because you cannot just keep doing what you are currently doing and think you are going to get recognized the next time,” Moore said. “We are always looking to grow and improve because we do not want to be satisfied with where we are now. We always want to improve.”
Of the 11 awards handed out by the Department of Education, four were presented for world language programs, one was presented for dual language programming, and six were awarded for bilingual/ESL programs.
The six districts that received awards for bilingual/ESL are Howell ESL Program Grades K-8; Atlantic City High School Newcomer Center; Linden ESL Program grades K-12; Franklin Township (Somerset County) Bilingual Program grades K-4, ESL Program Grades K-4 and 9-11; Passaic City Bilingual Program Grades K-8; Vineland Bilingual Program Grades K-5 and 9-12, ESL Program Grades K-5, 9-12.
The four districts that received awards for world languages were the West Morris Regional High School District (9-12 World Languages Program); Ocean City High School (American Sign Language Program); West Windsor-Plainsboro (K-12 World Languages Program); and Egg Harbor Township (Hispañohablantes/Heritage Speaker Program).
The one district that received an award for dual language was the HoLa (Hoboken) Dual Language Charter School.