Cabarrus County Schools – 2019 Transformation Award Winner
For providing customized language learning for recent immigrants in the district’s middle and high schools.
Cabarrus County Schools (CCS) has found success using the Middlebury Interactive Languages™ English Language Learner (ELL) program to help the more than 3,000 middle and high school students who emigrate to the North Carolina district each year learn academic English.
“We are honored to be recognized by FuelEd as a Transformation Award winner and are excited about the opportunity to highlight the success of English Learners in Cabarrus County Schools,” said Teresa Palma, the CCS Title III/ESL program coordinator.
As the program coordinator for FuelEd’s blended learning program in the district, Palma and CCS instructors use the online ELL program during an elective class block to supplement regular instruction. They are able to customize instruction based on each student’s individual needs, whether by updating instruction tools based on their progress, or providing them with a wider range of elective courses to choose from.
The purpose of CCS’s English Language Learner (ELL) program is to improve English language skills for middle and high school students who have recently immigrated to the United States. The program does not serve as a replacement for English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, but rather a supplement to ESL classes.
ELL students in grades 6–12 receive both digital and project-based coursework as part of the Middlebury blended-learning methods, provided directly by Middlebury-qualified instructors.
Despite having just 26 ESL instructors to serve more than 3,000 ELL students from 82 different countries, CCS has had significant success in improving English proficiency among its student population. All 26 ELL teachers at CCS are trained and expected to understand cultural pedagogy.
“I’m excited and I’m very proud of the work that we do here in Cabarrus County Schools because we want our students to know that we’re here to support them, not only today but for their future,” Palma said.
About the Transformation Award
The Transformation Awards recognize schools, districts or organizations that are successfully transforming the way teachers teach and students learn. Cabarrus County Schools was one of seven programs honored in 2019, out of more than 2,000 school districts nationwide, for modernizing the way K–12th grade students experience education.
Each Transformation Award winner uses Fuel Education’s portfolio of online courses and adaptive learning tools to meet the varying needs of their students, who represent different demographic, economic and geographic backgrounds. The winning programs use online learning to overcome challenges in unique and inventive ways, whether through providing students with the means to earn a high school diploma after dropping out, filling teacher vacancies, helping students recover credits, differentiating instruction based on real-time progress data or providing students with access to a wider variety of elective courses.
“Education is not one-size-fits-all, which is why Fuel Education works to provide unique solutions that meet the needs of unique students,” said Russ Roselle, senior vice president at FuelEd.
“The winners of this year’s Fuel Education Transformation Awards are creating incredible opportunities for their students, meeting their students’ immediate academic needs, and going above and beyond by using digital curriculum and content to provide unparalleled personalized learning experiences,” said Roselle.