Our Mission

What we do

Wellesley Public Schools (WPS) exist to provide a high-quality, comprehensive educational experience that supports each student’s academic, social, and emotional development and prepares them to be global citizens who are college, career, and life ready. The Multilingual Learner Education (MLE) Department ensures that all facets of the school system are genuinely accessible to our students and seamlessly integrates them as learning community members.

Our Vision

Where we want to be…

WPS aspires to be a world-class school system that develops the heads, hearts, and hands of its students and inspires them to be critical thinkers, problem-solvers, artists and innovators who make contributions to their communities, our nation, and the world.

Our Program

Sheltered English Immersion (SEI)

  1. Initial Identification
    At the time of registration, we ask all parents to complete a Home Language Survey. Upon review of the Home Language Survey, if a language other than English is mentioned, the new student is assessed for English language proficiency:
    • Speaking
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Listening
  2. Initial Proficiency Level
    Our assessment tool for English proficiency is the  WIDA-Screener.
    This broad look at a student’s ability to learn in English without support.
    Overall Scores in all areas range from 1-6
    • 1 = Entering – No English
    • 2 = Beginning – limited social and academic English
    • 3 = Developing – strong social and limited academic English
    • 4 = Expanding – strong social and competent academic English
    • 5 = Bridging – strong social and strong academic English
    • 6 = Reaching – fully able to compete with English-only students without support
  3. SEI Program Description
    There are two main components to our program model:
    • Core academic classes – taught by licensed teachers who are specially trained to differentiate or shelter the language of the content for Multilingual Learners
    • English as an additional language class – a separate content class taught by an English language development teacher
  4. SEI Program Locations: Fiske, Hardy, Schofield, Sprague, WMS and WHS
    Note: Although SEI is our chosen program model, parents may elect to “opt out” and place their child in schools without direct English language instruction.
  5. Annual Assessment: ACCESS
    Every year, in January, all ML students across Massachusetts must participate in ACCESS testing.
    This is a continuous assessment of proficiency that assesses student’s English skills:
    • Speaking
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Listening

    All students, including those who have opted out of program support, must participate.

  6. Reclassification
    The State requires an ACCESS score of at least an overall score of 4.2 and a composite literacy score of 3.9 for reclassification. However, every child learns at their own pace. Therefore, while the reclassification criteria are the same for all students, the amount of time any individual child will need may vary. 
  7. Monitoring after reclassification
    After students are determined ready to exit direct instruction, we monitor their progress for the next four school years.
    • We solicit reports and feedback from classroom teachers.
    • We review academic progress.
    • We meet and discuss progress with classroom teachers and offer guidance or additional support.

Parent Involvement

WPS is seeking parents to lead its English Learner Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC)

  • Become a volunteer
  • Be a representative on your child’s school council
  • Serve as a liaison for other parents who share your language background
  • Share a skill you have with us
  • Actively participate in maintaining our ELPAC

ML Staff:

Director: Merites Abelard

Fiske Elementary School (PAWS and Upham):
Jennifer Eramo
Alexandra Vendetti

Hardy (Bates) Elementary School:
Karen Pekowitz
Justine Ferguson

Schofield Elementary School:
Katherine Wilson

Sprague (Hunnewell) Elementary School:
Jaymee Mannix

Wellesley Middle School:
Jennifer Hannon

Wellesley High School:
Jennifer Hannon

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