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 launched the Teachers of English Learners Project. The project used 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 was 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 also had the opportunity to earn ESL certification and receive awards.
The program is now open for teachers statewide on the Oklahoma State Department of Education Oklahoma EDGE website at https://osdeconnect.ok.gov.
Thank you to these Teachers of English Learners Pilot Project Sponsors:
The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundations
Bar S Foods
Cherokee Strip Community Foundation
The Joullian Foundation
Office of Education Quality and Accountability
ARVEST Bank, Tulsa and Oklahoma City
Kirk and Sue Morris
Central Machine and Tool, LLC
Junior Welfare Leagues of Enid
Stephen and Sherrel Jones
Cheryl and GW Lowrey Jr.
Oklahoma Bank & Trust Co.