Reimagine Multilingual Learning
Central to the purpose and mission of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) is an excellent, equitable education for all students including the more than 22,000 current and former English Learners. With English Learners representing over 43 percent of the student population, BPS has made providing high-quality instruction for English Learners a top priority, seeking to ensure the most effective instructional model for language acquisition and the best program option for all students to become bi/multilingual and bi/multiliterate. As a result, BPS is committed to a long-term, systemic improvement process to enhance program structures and offerings, instruction, and educator expertise in deep and powerful ways to positively impact English and Multilingual Learners.
All English Learners, regardless of proficiency in English, should have opportunities to engage in rigorous, grade-level learning alongside heterogeneous groups of peers and with appropriate scaffolds to ensure their success. Under the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) Act, passed in 2017, native language instruction has been promoted from a supplemental service to a core requirement, and schools are expected to build on the cultural and linguistic assets of students to improve academic achievement. This shift in state policy has created a unique and powerful opportunity for BPS to outline a clear, systemic plan for improvement for all students, leveraging the language and cultural assets in partnership with our EL and immigrant communities.
In considering our findings, the District’s Strategic Plan, and BPS’ commitment to equity, it is imperative that the district uses this opportunity to change the current trajectory for English and Multilingual Learners. The Roadmap for Quality Education for Multilingual Learning that follows is a result of a multi-year effort across various stakeholder groups to identify challenges, prioritize improvement efforts, and align initiatives.
Who We Are
The Boston Public Schools (BPS) has made high quality instruction for English Learners (ELs) a top priority and provides various instructional programs and services to help students learn academic English as they learn content in all subject areas. Boston Public Schools enrolls over 17,000 English Learner students, representing 31% of the District’s total student population. An additional 13% of students (more than 7,000) are former English Learners who have attained English proficiency while enrolled in BPS.
What We Do
Our goal is that all ELs will graduate as lifelong learners with 21st century skills in order to succeed in college and careers. This is evidenced by the Office of English Learner’s (OEL) vision statement: to provide a culturally and linguistically responsive education with the supports needed to ensure equitable access to opportunities that promote language acquisition, bilingualism, biliteracy and lifelong learning.