English Language Learners Increase in Barnstable Schools

hyannis westBARNSTABLE – An increase in English language learners in Barnstable schools is affecting the school budget bottom line.

That is according to Barnstable Superintendent of Schools Mary Czajkowski.

The superintendent said the number of English language learners has increased from 190 in 2009 to 440 this year.

“Our ELL population is definitely increasing and, once again, having to add ELL teachers. That’s happening not only in Barnstable, but talking to my colleagues, it’s happening across the state,” she said.

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The federal government has new rules for certification for ELL instructors, Czajkowski said.

“Now with districts having to comply with a Department of Justice ruling that came down through the state, every teacher who is teaching ELL must now have what’s called an SEI endorsement, which is Sheltered English Immersion Endorsement,” she said.

Czajkowski said ELL students have additional needs that also cost the district money.

“The increase in the population of English Language Learners is impacting the district, not only financially but certainly it’s a high needs group of students that we’re having to address and provide resources for,” she said.

The town closed three elementary schools in 2009, but this year, the district is spending $2 million to construct new classrooms as a way to free up space for additional students.

The six new classrooms are being constructed as a permanent modular building that will serve as an early learning center on the Hyannis West Elementary School campus.

Having the center on the Hyannis West campus will, in turn, free up classroom space at Centerville Elementary School.

Close to 300 additional students are expected in the town’s public elementary schools this year. The increases are spread across all five of the town’s elementary schools.

This is Part III in a three part series. For Part I, click here. For Part II, click here.