News Release
Homer CCSD 33C
Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler
Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High
Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager | 708-226-7628
For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2016
English Language Services on the rise in Homer 33C
The number of students who speak two languages at home is on the rise in Homer Community Consolidated School District 33C.
Since 2010-11, the district has seen its English Language Learners population grow from 47 students to 215 students.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of students who speak Polish, Arabic, Lithuanian and Spanish,” said Kathleen Robinson, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.
“We also have a few students who speak Greek, Italian and Serbian,” she added. “In all, we have 17 different languages (including English) being spoken at our schools.”
The district is required to offer Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) when there are 19 or fewer students from the same language background at a single school. Students receive English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction (including skills development in listening, speaking, reading and writing) and native language support as needed.
When a district enrolls 20 or more students from the same language background at a single school, it is required to offer Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE). Students in this program receive ESL instruction as well as instruction in English and in the child’s home language in core academic subjects (i.e. reading/language arts, math and science).
Last school year (2014-15), Homer 33C added its first TBE class — a class with a bilingual Polish teacher at Goodings Grove School.
This school year (2015-16), it added two more TBE classes –a class with a bilingual Polish teacher at Schilling School and a class with a bilingual Arabic teacher, also at Schilling School.
Students are identified for the programs when they register and complete a home language survey. The survey asks parents if their child speaks a second language or if a second language is spoken in the home.
If the parent answers “yes” to either question, the students are screened to determine if they meet proficiency or not. If they do not, they are eligible for EL service.
Currently, Homer 33C services 215 English Language Learners. The breakdown is as follows:
Spanish: 40
Greek: 3
Italian: 3
Polish: 72
Serbian: 3
Korean: 1
Tagalog: 2
Arabic: 51
Lithuanian: 31
Ukrainian: 1
Mandarin: 1
Turkish: 1
Urdu: 2
Russian: 1
Macedonian: 1
Albanian, Tosk: 2
Because the district’s English Language Learners population now surpasses 200 students, it is required by the Illinois State Board of Education to hire an EL Coordinator with ESL endorsement to oversee the programs.
It is also required to hire teachers with ESL endorsements to service the Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) students. The district is working to fill the positions for the 2016-17 school year.
“In order to remain compliant and to best serve students working toward English language proficiency, we are preparing to fill the positions this summer or fall,” said Robinson.