CPS Nearly Doubles Tutoring Program for English Learners

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

By: Ashmar Mandou

On Tuesday, Chicago Public Schools announced that nearly double the amount of elementary students will receive after-school English tutoring this school year to increase English proficiency. “CPS celebrates the rich cultures and backgrounds that our students bring to their schools, and we believe it is critical to equip students to become proficient in multiple languages,” CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson said. “By expanding the tutoring for English learners, we are helping elementary and middle school students build the confidence, skills, and proficiency needed to succeed in high school, college and their careers.” CPS is adding 51 new schools as part of the Office of Language and Cultural Education’s English Learner (EL) Tutoring Program. According to CPS, the expansion increases the number of participating schools from 73 to 124, delivering academic supports to approximately 4,200 English Learners in grades 2-8, compared to roughly 2,200 students who participated last year.

The EL Tutoring Program was developed to supplement normal classroom instruction and prepare students for future success. The 2016-17 School Year is the second year of the program, and the supplemental tutoring has helped students maintain steady growth in EL on-track and attendance rates. In SY 15-16, EL on-track rates for grades 3-8 reached 62.7 percent, an increase in 6.6 percentage points since 2014. Up to three teachers are chosen to lead the after school program twice a week for two hours each session. Because teachers already know the students, the program can more effectively identify those in need of academic supports, provide them with additional core instruction, and monitor and evaluate their progress over time. “CPS believes it is critical to use resources wisely so we can provide the necessary training, support and resources to educators and principals to improve the academic outcomes of our English Language Learners,” said Jorge Macias, Chief of the CPS Office of Language and Cultural Education. “Through the expansion, we have nearly doubled our reach in just one school year, helping students across the city reach their full academic potential and excel in all aspects of their education.”

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