The English Learner Institute for Teaching and Excellence (Project ELITE2) implements, iteratively evaluates, and refines a response to intervention model to ensure that all students, including English learners, become proficient readers and users of English during the elementary grades. The multitiered framework includes (a) high-quality culturally and linguistically responsive core instruction, (b) high-quality reading interventions with a specific focus on language development, (c) linguistically aligned assessment practices, and (d) systematic use of assessment data in the design and delivery of instruction. This project is one of three model demonstration projects that study tiered approaches for improving the outcomes of English learners.
Goals of the project include increasing knowledge about the implementation and efficacy of multitiered instructional frameworks and their components to determine whether and to what extent they (a) improve reading achievement and language development for English learners with, or at risk of having, a disability and (b) assist educators in determining whether English learners who experience reading difficulties have a disability.
The project staff designs and implements the response to intervention model in collaboration with select schools in Del Valle Independent School District. A technical advisory group consisting of district and school leaders meets regularly with project staff members to review formative data and optimize the model for English learners. In addition, teachers engage in ongoing professional development on various aspects of effective reading and language instruction with consideration for the contextual, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds of students and families.
From 2011 to 2016, we worked with kindergarten to third-grade English learners at Baty, Creedmoor, and Gilbert elementary schools in Del Valle Independent School District.
Through a newly funded cooperative agreement (2016–2020) with the Office of Special Education Programs, we will scale up our work to grades 3–5 at the same schools.
Leticia Romero Grimaldo