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 4,300 (32%) of the district’s 13,500 students are English Language Learners who speak over 38 different languages. The two most common languages spoken are Khmer at 41% and Spanish at 36%. As a gateway to academic success and college-readiness, the district offers its English Language Learners explicit, research-based English language development instruction and language support in academic content areas.
The mission of the English Language Education Program is the same as the district's mission – to engage, challenge, and inspire all English Language Learners 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, and the provisions for Limited English Proficient students in the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The Program models recognize the linguistic, academic, cognitive, and cultural needs of English Language Learners 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 and best practices 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 English Language Learners.