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Zoom English Learner Supports Reaching More Teachers and Paraprofessionals


Teachers and paraprofessionals working with English learners in Zoom designated campuses should be seeing enhanced student and instructional supports as a result of SB 405 and additional Zoom program funding.

Legislators appropriated $50 million to expand the program due to increased language proficiency and academic achievement experienced by English learners attending Zoom Schools. For 2015-16 approximately $46.2 million is being allocated to provide enhanced English Learner resources on 29 Clark school district campuses and 15 Washoe school district campuses. Rural school districts are receiving $3.6 million and each district has one or more campuses approved for Zoom school funds. As Kindergarten becomes fully funded, Zoom funds will be freed up to expand to additional schools.

Restrictions in the law limit the amount of Zoom funds that can be used for professional development, recruitment and retention incentives, and family engagement to 2 percent (inclusively) of allocated funding. Some school district leaders have indicated in testimony that the 2 percent cap is too restrictive.

The new law establishes a tiered approach to English learner supports, requiring the most comprehensive array of programs in Clark and Washoe County School District elementary schools. Middle schools, high schools, and rural area school districts must offer one or more of the supports specified in the law.

Zoom Elementary schools must provide all of the following programs:

  • Pre-Kindergarten programs free of charge;
  • Expand full-day kindergarten classes;
  • Operate reading skills centers;
  • Summer academy or intersession activities;
  • Professional development;
  • Recruitment and retention incentives; and
  • Family engagement opportunities.

Zoom middle schools and high schools must provide at least one of the following programs:

  • Reduce class sizes for limited English proficient pupils and provide English language literacy classes;
  • Direct instruction to each limited English proficient pupil using applicable assessments;
  • Extended school day;
  • Free of charge including transportation, a summer academy or an intersession academy for schools not operating on a traditional school calendar;
  • ELL related professional development for teachers and other licensed educational personnel;
  • Recruitment and retention incentives for teachers and other licensed educational personnel as prescribed by the State Board of Education;
  • Engage and involve parents and families of LEP pupils to support their academic achievement; and
  • Other evidence-based programs for LEP pupils approved by the Department of Education.

Zoom Grant School Districts (rural) must provide at least one of the following programs:

  • High-quality, developmentally appropriate pre-K, free of charge, that will increase LEP enrollment;
  • The acquisition and implementation of empirically proven LEP reading assessment tools;
  • Effective LEP related professional development for teachers and other educational personnel;
  • Free of charge including transportation, before and after school services, and summer or intersession academies for schools that do not operate on a traditional school calendar;
  • Engage and involve parents and families of LEP pupils to support their academic achievement;
  • Recruitment and retention incentives for teachers and other licensed educational personnel as prescribed by the State Board of Education;
  • Other evidenced-based programs for LEP pupils approved by the Department of Education.

To view the listing of Zoom Schools and funding amounts, see the August 17, 2015 Program and Funding Report by clicking on the following link http://www.doe.nv.gov/English_Language_Learners%28ELL%29/SB405_Zoom_Reports/

 

 

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