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1140 White Bear Avenue
St. Paul
MN
55106

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Language Policy

Philosophy:

Language is the foundation for all learning and understanding.  Every student at Hazel Park Preparatory Academy (HPPA) is a language learner and every staff member is a language teacher.  Through language development, students use learned language tools to interpret the world around them, communicate their ideas, and gain new perspectives.  Language is also a major component in encouraging understanding and tolerance of other culture groups and perspectives.  HPPA offers Spanish language instruction to all students K-8 because we believe all students can be successful in learning another language and through doing so, reinforce many aspects of grammar that are integral to students’ understanding of language in general. (Making the PYP Happen)

English is the primary language of instruction at HPPA.  That being said, we appreciate and celebrate the fact that many of our students and families speak a mother language at home.  Through foreign language instruction, cultural activities and English Language Learners (ELL) instruction, we strive to encourage the development of our students’ mother tongue while providing for an optimal environment for each student to be masterful with the English language.

Policy

Family Language/Mother Tongue Language Support: The main/instructional language spoken at HPPA is English.  Many different languages are spoken in students’ homes.  ELL staff, with the “push in” model of instruction, support Hmong and Spanish students. Student who may need additional help are pulled for more individual intensive instruction. The ELL teachers collaboratively plan and co-instruct with the classroom and single subject teachers.  Opportunities are provided for cultural events to support the family languages and culture.  Learning about culture is ongoing in all daily instruction.  Parents meet bi-monthly after school hours in culture groups.

Formal Language Teaching

  • Teachers strive to develop a caring language community in which all students feel accepted and confident that others support them as they take risks to learn a language different from their mother tongue.
  • Spanish language is offered to all students, K-8th grade.
  • Subject-specific knowledge, concepts, and skills are taught.
  • Teachers use the IB unit planners to structure instruction.
  • ELL and Special Education teachers collaborate with the regular classroom teachers to integrate learning and promote the importance of respect and understanding of all cultures as they support learning of the English language as well as in Spanish language learning.

Support Services

Instructions for English Learners (ELL) at HPPA focus on improving students’ English language proficiency leading to mastery of academic content.  Through the collaborative model, English language development objectives are integrated with academic subject areas.

Classroom teachers and ELL teachers, with support from the bilingual Educational Assistants (EAs), work together in the classroom to provide ELL students with comprehensible access to age-appropriate content aligned to national, state, and district standards, as well as English language proficiency standards.  Working with grade-level content, students build reading and listening skills, as well as develop academic level speaking and writing skills.

The language needs of the Hispanic community are met through the implementation of the government legislation, which reads as follows:

“The Latino Consent Decree is a legally binding court order that requires the district to provide specific educational services for Hispanic/Latino students in the district.  The Latino Consent Decree (LCD) in Saint Paul Public Schools is designed for Spanish-speaking students who need additional support; LCD students also learn about Latino culture and history.”

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

All PYP students at Hazel Park are instructed using Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop.  During instruction teachers focus on the following areas:

Oral Language:

  • Students use a variety of oral language experiences to build confidence.
  • They talk about their own feelings, thoughts, and opinions in small/large groups.
  • Students learn to appreciate that listening is important in all situations.

Reader’s Workshop:

  • Students experience a balanced learning environment that includes independent reading and small/large group instruction.
  • Students respond to what they have read and express their ideas regarding characters, setting, plot, and conclusions.
  • Teachers use small group instruction to differentiate learning for all students.

Writer’s Workshop:

  • At each grade level, students write for a variety of purposes using proper sentence and paragraph structure.
  • They plan, revise, and edit their writing.

Teachers monitor student progress using MONDO benchmark testing in the fall, winter, and spring. Along with the MONDO testing, teachers observe and listen to the students during whole group and small group instruction using formative assessment.

Middle Years Programme (MYP)

All MYP students are instructed through reading and writing lessons.  During instruction, teachers focus on skills and techniques to guide students through language development.

Classroom Reading Practices

  • Differentiated reading instruction inclusive of: flexible guided reading groups, vocabulary enrichment, strategic organizers, and leveled reading material.
  • Curriculum introduces students to a wide variety of culturally relevant fiction and non-fiction literary formats and genres.
  • Vocabulary building enrichment practices and techniques, such as content-specific word walls and daily oral implementation of idioms, similes, and metaphors into instructional language.

Classroom Writing Practice

  • Instruction and guided inquiry through the writing process (pre-write, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing)
  • 6th grade uses the Writer’s Workshop Model to instruct and guide inquiry through the writing process.
  • Fostering of students’ natural desire to communicate, via practicing writing in multiple genres.
  • Writing with a purpose for every curriculum unit and assignment.

Classroom Speaking/Listening Practices

  • Intentional use of Accountable Talk both inside and outside the classroom setting
  • Opportunity to practice and develop oral communication skills and classroom discussion (small/large group, oral presentations, debates, and speeches)

Teachers monitor student progress using formative assessment and the MAP benchmark testing multiple times during the school year.