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, emotional development and prepares them to be global citizens who are college, career, and life ready. Specific to the English Learner (EL) Department, WPS provides genuine equitable access to all facets of our school system and assures our EL students are seamlessly integrated as members of our learning community.

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. The EL Department aspires to empower EL students to compete with confidence among all peers in pursuit of the mission and vision of the district.

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 in:


    • Speaking
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Listening
  2. Initial Proficiency Level
    Our assessment tool for English proficiency is the W-APT/WIDA-Screener.
    This is a very broad look at a student’s ability to learn in English only, without any 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 English learners
    • English as a second language class – a separate content class taught by a teacher licensed in second language acquisition
  4. SEI Program Locations: Fiske, Hardy, Schofield*, Sprague, WMS and WHS
    * Schofield has a new SEI program (2018-19 SY) and serves only limited grades at this time.
    We offer indirect support to children at non-program schools (Bates, Hunnewell, and Upham).
    Note: Although SEI is our chosen program model, parents may elect to “opt-out” and place their child in schools and/or classrooms without any support in language acquisition or development.
  5. Annual Assessment: ACCESS
    Every year, during the month of January, all EL students across Massachusetts are required to participate in ACCESS testing.
    This is a continued assessment of proficiency that assesses student’s English skills in:


    • Speaking
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Listening

    All students, including those who have opted-out of program support, are required to participate.

  6. Program Exit
    Every child learns at his or her own pace.
    Exit criteria are the same for all students, butthe amount of time any individual child will need to master English may vary.
    Here’s what we look for:


    • • ACCESS score of at least 5.0 across all domains (speaking, listening, reading, and writing)
    • • MCAS score of proficient in English
    • • Classroom performance in core content
    • • Classroom performance in ESL
    • • Teacher recommendation
    • • Social and emotional readiness
  7. After Exit Monitoring and Support
    After students are determined ready to exit direct support, we monitor progress for the next four school years.


    • We solicit reports and feedback from classroom teachers.
    • We review academic progress.
    • We meet with and discuss progress with classroom teachers and offer guidance or additional supports if needed.

Parent Involvement

WPS has a very active Parent Advisory Council for parents of English Learners

  • 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 EL PAC

EL Staff:


Fiske Elementary School (PAWS consultant):
Jennifer Eramo
Alexandra Vendetti

Hardy (Bates and Upham consultant) 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 (consultant):
Jennifer Hannon

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