Teachers of English Learners Pilot Project

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Teachers of English Learners Pilot Project

More than 55,000 students in Oklahoma’s public schools do not speak English as their first language, presenting a challenge for classroom teachers who often do not have the training and resources to effectively integrate English Learner students into their classroom activities.

To support classroom teachers and their English Learner students, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has launched the Teachers of English Learners Pilot Project. The project uses an online learning platform to provide professional development, networking and support for classroom teachers in 20 elementary schools with a high enrollment of English Learner students.

The heart of the project is an online learning platform development by NextThought, an Oklahoma company that specializes in online professional development and community networking. The project was developed by advisory and content committees made up of foundation trustees and English Learner specialists from school districts and colleges. Participating teachers will have the opportunity to earn ESL certification and receive awards.

Following the pilot year, organizers are planning a state-wide roll-out in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Thank you to these Teachers of English Learners Pilot Project Sponsors:

Sarkeys Foundation
BancFirst
The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundations
Home Creations
Gene Rainbolt
Bar S Foods
Cherokee Strip Community Foundation
Dillingham Foundation
The Joullian Foundation
Office of Education Quality and Accountability
ARVEST Bank, Tulsa and Oklahoma City

Lopez Foods
Kirk and Sue Morris
Central Machine and Tool, LLC
Junior Welfare Leagues of Enid
Stephen and Sherrel Jones
Dick Sias
Cheryl and GW Lowrey Jr.
Lisa Pryor
Oklahoma Bank & Trust Co.
Dick Ebrey

“Teachers are most often in relative isolation as they strive to perform their work, which can greatly reduce their effectiveness and growth. The development of a robust network where the educator community interacts naturally, frequently and intentionally, can only have positive results for their pupils. … I am thrilled that this could be made available for teachers and administrators of English Learner students in our state.”

- Chris Brewster, superintendent of Santa Fe South Schools, Oklahoma City