English Learners Summit hosted by Education Department in April 2012

A shift in demographic patterns has strained the capacity of school districts to develop and pay for instructional programs to teach children who are still learning¬† English. Indiana has seen a more than 200% growth in its ELL population from 1995-2005 (EPE Research Center 2009). One of the greatest challenges that our state faces continues to be improving the education of our English language learners. While Indiana colleges and universities are providing courses in this area, our school systems must augment the knowledge and practices of our teachers through ongoing professional development. To that end, Goshen Community Schools, Goshen College, and Education Concepts, Inc. collaborated in the design of a one-day summit that featured current practitioners who delivered best practices and results-driven applications for the 180 attendees. The summit centered on four topics of interest: instruction, assessment, family involvement, and the Common Core. The focus of the summit was “back on the ranch” application, so participants could learn and participate in activities that could be used the following day in their classrooms to assist the English language learner.