The Trenton Public School District announced a proposal yesterday to develop the Trenton Global Academy for recently arrived English Language Learners (ELLs) for the 2019-2020 school year.

“With the increase in recently arrived English Language Learners in the City of Trenton, the Trenton School District has to think differently about how to meet the needs of a population of students that are unable to access the traditional education system due to language barriers,” said Trenton Public School District Superintendent Dr. Fred McDowell. “The English Language Learners proposed to attend this program have significant gaps in their English language proficiency and need additional supports before being able to fully access a college and career readiness curriculum.”

“In the 2018-2019 school year, the Trenton Public School District has experienced a large influx of English Language Learners, some with limited and interrupted formal education,” said Trenton Public School District Chief Academic Officer Elizabeth DeJesus. “The proposed Trenton Global Academy Program is designed for English Language Learners aged 14-21, who have recently arrived in the United States.”

This program takes into consideration that immigrant students are adapting to living in a new country, a different community, with a new culture, new norms and language. Therefore, the Trenton Global Academy Program provides a language-rich, supportive school environment to assist students in becoming acclimated to U.S. secondary school procedures and academic expectations while appreciating the experiences, perspectives, and background knowledge each student brings to the community.

“The Trenton Global Academy Program will offer these Recently Arrived English Language Learners an opportunity to engage in an Individualized Program Plan of study that builds academic mastery while receiving intensive supports to acquire English Language proficiency,” added DeJesus. “The proposed Trenton Global Academy will provide these students and their families or their sponsors access to health-related, educational, and social services through in school supported partnerships.”

Through courses that embed literacy and language learning with content instruction in mathematics, science and social studies, students develop English literacy skills while acquiring content area knowledge. Students will have access to all state required courses for graduation as well as electives that will enhance their course of study while gaining English language proficiency.

Additionally, the program offers an educational track designed to provide extra support for Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE). In order to bridge the gap of their interrupted schooling, additional supports are provided through specialized coursework and additional instructional interventions in foundational literacy and numeracy.

The District outlined a number of benefits to students and families as result of The Trenton Global Program, which aims to establish family and community partnerships through the following support services:

  • Expose families to practices related to schooling in the United States and support their involvement in their children’s education
  • Create opportunities for family input and involvement in school planning and implementation of programs
  • Convene support groups and design activities to address family reunification issues and other challenges unique to the ELL community
  • Facilitate access to social-emotional support, health and mental health services, and immigrant/refugee services
  • Provide opportunities for career exploration, work experiences, and internships.
  • Pursue community support for initiatives designed to accelerate achievement among recently arrived English Language Learners