Developing the Organization to Support Desired Practices

School and system leaders work to facilitate school-wide collaboration and build productive relationships with families and the community in a number of ways, including:

  • providing regular opportunities and structures that support teachers in working together on instructional improvements related to supporting ELLs
  • working (with staff) directly with families of diverse backgrounds to help them provide their children with support in the home, that will contribute to their success at school
  • encouraging staff to reach out to students with diverse viewpoints and linguistic experiences to enrich the classroom experience and help all students feel included
  • helping connect families to the wider network of social services as needed
Key resources have been organized according to frequently asked questions.

How can we create a welcoming school?
Supporting ELL in Kindergarten, Working with Families and Communities pp. 17 – 33
This resource describes strategies for involving parents and the community in the kindergarten classroom.
Many Roots, Many Voices: Put out the Welcome Mat: The Welcoming School pp. 36-41   PDF

How can the school determine the appropriate initial placement of English language learners?
STEP – Initial Assessment User Guide
This document explains the importance of welcoming new families and describes the initial assessment process which is an opportunity to develop a profile of a student’s educational, linguistic, cultural and personal background, recommend appropriate placement and suggest supports.

How can elementary schools support parents in working with literacy skills (in the first language) at home? How can teachers make the most of a student’s first language skills in classroom experiences? 
Video: Supporting English language learners: 
This resource describes best practices of schools welcoming newcomers and working effectively with community partners and families.
Segment 4:  Which instructional supports help ELL acquire English while meeting the demands of the curriculum?
Segment 5: Jim Cummins and Elizabeth Coelho discuss the role of first language(s) and the concept of “universal design”.
  Web Page

How can the school support and connect families to the wider network of social services?
Access parent information about the Ontario school system in different languages on:   Website
For Information for newcomer families about immigration and citizenship, housing, health employment, education, community and recreation, legal services, and daily life access:   Website

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