About Our Department
Lowell, Massachusetts is considered the Cradle of the American Industrial Revolution. The town began to run its textile mills with water power in the 1820s. The Lowell Public Schools established the first public co-educational high school in the country in 1824 to educate the children of its residents and the rapidly growing immigrant population. Today, following its tradition as an educational forerunner, Lowell continues its commitment to meeting the educational needs of all children, regardless of their country of birth, national origin, or ethnic background. Currently, approximately 4,180 (29%) of the district’s 14,333 students are English Learners (ELs) who speak over 70 different languages. The three most common languages spoken are Spanish at 37%, Portuguese at 24% and Khmer at 23%. As a gateway to academic success and college-readiness, the district offers its ELs explicit, research-based English language development instruction and language support in academic content areas.
The mission of the English Language Education Program is aligned to the district's mission – to engage, challenge, and inspire all ELs to excel and to be prepared for college, career, and citizenship in the 21st century.
In the spirit of the district’s mission, the English Language Education program is designed to comply with the legal mandates of MGL 71A, the Lau Voluntary Compliance Plan, the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2016 (ESSA) and the new law signed by Governor Baker on November 22, 2017 called "Act Relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kid," Chapter 138 of the Acts of 2017, commonly referred to as the LOOK Act. The law aims to provide districts with more flexibility in determining the design and implementation of English Learner education programs to meet the needs of ELs, while maintaining accountability for timely and effective English language acquisition. The Program models recognize the linguistic, academic, cognitive, and cultural needs of ELs of different English proficiency levels and varied educational backgrounds.
The English Language Education Program offers a variety of placement options at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The English Language Education Program curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Frameworks, Massachusetts Common Core Standards, and WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards. Instructional strategies in all English Language Education (ELE) Program models adhere to research-based second language acquisition pedagogy that support English language development in listening, speaking, reading, and writing; and academic content learning. The program models take into consideration multiple linguistic, academic, cognitive, and cultural needs of ELs.