The GECDSB has responded successfully to increasing demand for English as a Second Language programming, especially for Arabic, Mandarin, Nepali, Vietnamese and Somali speakers. There are 28 S.W.I.S. (Settlement Workers In Schools) staff throughout the Board and our Newcomer Reception Centre
provides important services to help students, in both elementary and secondary schools, with their English language skills and to achieve their educational goals.
Once a students have receives an assessment of their English skills they are placed, parttime, in a regular classroom with an ESL coach and spend a portion of their days working with ESL teachers, in a seperate classroom, on English and Math. The expectation is for students to advance at least one step per year in the 6 step program. After achieving Step 3 students are placed in their regular classrooms fulltime.
During the 2017-18 school year there were 1,332 elementary English Language Learners:
- 1120 progressed at least 1 step in the program
- 846 progressed in oral language, 830 in reading and 768 in writing
- 200 students were moved into their classrooms fulltime by June 2018
The progress of students in Steps 4-6 are monitored in the fulltime classroom by the ESL coaches.