A new state education requirement is presenting an opportunity for teachers at Carmel Clay Schools.
At the Dec. 16 school board meeting, CCS Assistant Supt. Amy Dudley outlined changes to the district’s English Language Learners program, which assists students whose first language or home language is not English. A recent change in state law requires school districts to give each student involved in the ELL program a “teacher of resource” by 2022.
“It’s similar to how our special needs students have a teacher of record that looks at the services for that child, and they’re an advocate for that child,” Dudley said. “Those teachers of record need to either have the ENL (English as a New Language) license from the state, or they need to meet the English Learner Teacher of Record Rubric requirements. We have very few ENL-certified teachers. Meeting the new requirement, we will have many more.”
To accommodate the new requirement, CCS will offer tuition reimbursement to any K-12 teacher interested in pursuing an ENL license. The district has partnered with Ball State University to provide three cohort groups, which will be a combination of on-site classes at the Educational Services Center and online classes for a total of five courses. Dudley said 50 teachers have signed up so far to begin their first class in January for the licensure that will be completed by May 2021.
“We’re paying for that (tuition) through grants,” Dudley said. “We have two different grants that we receive for our English learners. We receive a Title III grant, which is federal dollars, and we receive a non-English-speaking grant, which is state dollars.”
Dudley said district-wide, CCS has 965 ELL students. In that group, approximately 68 native languages are spoken. Spanish makes up 25.7 percent of the figure, followed by Arabic at 13.5 percent.