English as a Second Language (ESL) in BUSD

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March 2009

Does anyone has the experience or knows how do the Berkeley elementry public schools handling new students (5th and 2nd grade) that speak very little English? Do they have a special class for ESL? Do they offer any help with it? Thanks! anon

As a former BUSD teacher and parent of BUSD students...Most newer teachers are required to be CLAD certified, which means they have taken classes in how to accommodate students for whom English is a second language. This involves things such as using more visual aids and defining of vocabulary. In high school there are some separate ELL and SDAIE classes (I taught such classes for science). You didn't mention what their primary language is. I looked at placing my son in the Spanish immersion program at Thousand Oaks Elementary. We were told that the first part of the kindergarten day is conducted entirely in Spanish with the afternoon (Science and History oriented activities) in English. This was awhile back so I would contact them to see if that is still the case. Otherwise, there are not supposed to be ''pull out'' classes for non-English speakers at the elementary level. However, there are volunteer tutors that might be able to help one on one for reading, etc.

For themost accurate information, contact the Enrollment and Admissions Office at the Berkeley unified School District at: http://www.berkeley.net/enrollment/ and at Phone: (510) 644-6504 E-Mail: Admissions [at] berkeley.k12.ca.us Hours: 8:00 a.m. - noon and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Anonymous