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With the significant gaps in performance between our recently arrived, older Latino students and white and Asian peers, the results from this program as a comprehensive intervention strategy appear impressive. Knowing that our schools that have the highest numbers of students from this population are in greatest need of supplemental, unique, social emotional as well as academic resources to close those gaps, I would like to know the status of similar supports or other models at other highly impacted schools (Gaithersburg, Watkins Mill, Northwood, et al). If they don't have this level of afterschool intervention, is it possible with this budget to expand this support to these schools? It appears that 21st Century federal funding is being used for this programming. Knowing that our ESOL numbers have gone down, perhaps the dollars that have been saved on staffing can go to this expansion. How many total students do we have in this category? Are we reaching as many of them as we can? How can we reach more of them? As we know, very sadly, too many of these students who have fallen through the cracks have ended up in dangerous and dire circumstancesI would also like to know if this program supports non-Latino students who may be in similarly fragile circumstances that are barriers to their reaching their potential. As our stated commitment is to closing gaps in achievement, it seems our greatest priority with funding should be addressing the widest gaps with the strategies that have been evaluated and appear to be the most effective. As we are also striving to not isolate our students during the school day, afterschool support/interventions (which seem to be one of the biggest differences between well-resourced households and those in poverty) would appear to make the most sense.

Question#: 2

ANSWER:

While the Knight Time program is open to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students from all races and ethnicities, currently only Latino students participate in the program. Knight Time is funded by the federal (through state) 21St Century Community Learning Centers Program grant and there are no plans to expand the Knight Time program at this time. The grant is specifically written to support Wheaton High School.

One other Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) program that offers support to students who have profiles similar to the students who participate in Knight Time, and is also poised to serve more students in the future, is the Career Readiness Education Academy (CREA).  CREA serves about 70 ESOL students at Thomas Edison High School of Technology and accepts student referrals from all MCPS high schools with ESOL programs.

  • The target audience is older English Language Learners with limited or interrupted formal education who are unlikely to meet all graduation requirements prior to turning 21 years of age.
  • The program is offered four evenings a week, from 5:30–8:30 p.m. Monday–Thursday, as an alternative to attending a comprehensive high school.  It is moving to a full-day program, five days a week in 2018–2019.
  • The program offers English language skills, basic work skills, and industry certifications.
  • The program provides General Education Diploma preparation classes for those at higher levels of English language proficiency.
  • CREA offers additional support for students and families, such as clothing resources and a local food pantry.
  • There are resource groups to keep students informed of available community services, including medical care.
  • Staff support student achievement through collaboration with parents and community organizations.
  • Data from the first year indicates that students in CREA, who actually spend less time as measured in hours spent in ESOL or mathematics classes throughout the week, but receive more intensive, focused instruction, make similar gains on the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment as their peers in comprehensive high schools.
  • In addition, it is important to note that some of our high schools such as Gaithersburg, Watkins Mill, and Northwood mentioned in the question have School-based Wellness Centers, which serve as a hub of intervention programs for recently arrived students.

 

  • The below table shows the number of Multidisciplinary Education, Training and Support (METS) students at MCPS high schools.

METS Students in MCPS High Schools

School

METS Students

Springbrook

54

Gaithersburg

52

Wheaton

48

Northwood

40

Watkins Mill

34

Montgomery Blair

26

Albert Einstein

21

Richard Montgomery

15

Quince Orchard

12

Rockville

10

Bethesda-Chevy Chase

10

Seneca Valley

9

Col Zadok Magruder

3

Sherwood

1

John F. Kennedy

1

TOTAL

336

 

 

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