English as a Second Language

The English Language Learner Program in Melrose prides itself on providing outstanding instruction to all students at all levels of English proficiency.  Certified staff members develop lessons using guidance from the World-Class Instructional Design & Assessment  (WIDA) standards which can be found at http://www.wida.us.  Instruction is based on the four domains of language acquisition:  listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Students are expected to work to their potential each day to develop skills in these areas.  Staff members work closely with classroom teachers to shelter content and make it accessible to English Language Learners.  Students are provided with academic supports until they are able to access content independently.  Students are tested in January of each year using the Accessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) assessment.  Results are reported to parents/guardians near the end of the year.  Results are used to determine students’ English Proficiency level and to determine placement for the following year.

The Melrose English Language Learner Program follows a Sheltered English Immersion model, meaning that students are in general classrooms for most or all of the day, with specialized ESL pull-out or push-in as needed.  All instruction is given in English.  ELLs are provided with instructional modifications that allow them to access content and develop their language skills.  There are approximately 55 English Language Learners in Melrose Public Schools speaking approximately 11 languages.  Families in the total Melrose Public Schools population speak approximately 40 languages.

Parent & Community Member Resources

English Conversation Project

This project offers free conversation groups for English learners who are 18 years-old or older. Volunteers meet with one or more learners and gear instruction to the individual needs of the learner. This is an excellent way to build connections with community members of other cultures. If you are interested in joining one of these groups or volunteering, please email [email protected].

Immigrant Learning Center of Malden

The Immigrant Learning Center provides free classes to those who are learning English. Be aware that there is often a waiting list for classes and attendance is strict once you sign up. Please visit www.ilctr.org for more information.

International Festivals

Each year, the Human Rights Commission presents International Night where families join to share dishes from the various cultures represented in Melrose. This is held each Fall and is advertised in town newspapers and flyers.

Melrose had its first World Cultures Festival in the Spring of 2010 and hopes to continue this tradition each year. The various cultures of Melrose were presented in booths by dedicated community members. Food from surrounding restaurants was provided, and performances were put on by children, families, and surrounding organizations.

Connect With Others

Connecting with other community members, especially those from a similar culture to yours, provides a sense of comfort and helps newcomers adjust to life in Melrose. If you are interested in being set up with a family, whether to provide information, to acquire information, or to develop friendships or cultural awareness, please contact your child’s ELL teacher.

Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission promotes respect for all people, regardless of their differences. They develop programs and activities that promote diversity and help to settle disputes involving discrimination and/or harassment. This commission is the sponsor of the English Conversation Project. Please visit http://www.cityofmelrose.org/dept_mhrc.cfm for more information.

Clothing and Food Assistance

The Red Cross in Melrose offers financial, clothing, and/or food assistance to those in emergency situations such as fires and floods. Referrals by school personnel or social workers are required.

Mission of Deeds in Reading provides furniture to those in need. Referrals by school personnel or social workers are required.

The Salvation Army provides vouchers for free clothing and/or furniture to those in need. Referrals by school personnel or social workers are required.

The Servant’s Heart Food Pantry at the Faith Evangelical Church provides food to those in need. It is located at 200 Franklin St. and is open every Friday from 10-11:30 a.m., as well as from 5-6 p.m. on the third Friday of each month.

The Pantry of Hope at the First Baptist Church provides food to those in need. It is located at 561 Main St.

Getting Involved

Parent-Teacher Nights

Parent-Teacher Nights are scheduled several times each year. They serve as an opportunity for parents to meet their children’s teachers, learn more about their children’s classes, ask questions, and meet other parents in the community. Parent-Teacher Night dates are listed on the District Calendar or on the calendar for your child’s specific school.

ELL Parent/Student Coffee Nights

Parents and guardians of English Language Learners are invited for coffee, tea, and snacks at the beginning of each school year at their child’s school. The purpose of these nights is to inform parents about the ELL Program, to make them feel welcome in the school, and to give them an opportunity to meet other parents of English Language Learners.

Volunteer in Your Child’s Elementary Class

Volunteering in your child’s elementary classroom is one of the best ways to demonstrate the importance of education for your child, to enhance your child’s classroom experience, and to get involved in the school community. To get involved, contact your child’s classroom or ELL teacher, or the Coordinator of Volunteers.

International Festival

The International Festival is put on each Fall by the Human Rights Commission of Melrose. It invites all members of the community to join together to celebrate the diversity of Melrose. Families are invited to bring a dish from their culture and sample dishes from other cultures. Children’s crafts are provided and representatives from the City of Melrose are present.