Establishing A Vision...
In 1983, when the Fort Worth ISD established the Language Center program for middle and high school immigrant students, the planners agreed that the program, district-wide, would be characterized by four features. Those features were as follows:
- The program would provide intensive ESL instruction as well as instruction in content-area and elective classes, through ESL methodology and/or native language support, commensurate with grade-level requirements.
- The program would be staffed with teachers and assistants highly trained in ESL and/or bilingual methodology and hired specifically to teach in the program.
- The program would be structured in such a way that students would be gradually moved over a two-to-three-year period from taking almost all classes in the Center to taking only two, with progression for most students to the Transition ESL program (one ESL class a day taught by a non-Language Center teacher) to occur within three years.
- The program would be housed on a regular middle or high school campus (transportation provided as appropriate) and would function as a modified school-within-a-school design (staff to function as a team and to be led by teacher leader [team leader]; administration and support staff services to be provided by the host schools.)
Becoming A Reality...
In 1983, when the Fort Worth ISD established the Language Center program for middle and high school immigrant students, the developers considered the stand-alone Newcomer concept but discarded it, believing that isolationism and less-than-equal access to quality education might result.
In 1993, however, when the Fort Worth ISD reviewed the Language Center program to determine improvements needed, planners again discussed the stand-alone Newcomer concept—this time being able to talk specifically about the ten-year implementation of the Language Center and about the patterns that had emerged during the time affecting the program quality. The concern that the 1983 planners had about isolationism and a stand-alone Newcomer was actually becoming a reality by 1993 for Language Centers.
The conclusion drawn was that isolationism was not really a function of location; it could occur even when a program was situated in the heart of a host school. The important issue was what was occurring for students, not where.
Once the conclusion was reached, planners began to consider the stand-alone Newcomer concept as a viable means of gaining control over and improving the beginning level program and, as a result, of improving the program for all Language Center students.
The International Newcomer Academy (INA) was the result of efforts by the planning committee.
Program Design and Curriculum:
- to foster rapid language learning and acquisition of content knowledge
- to build a strong knowledge base through an integrated, thematic approach to language and content learning
- to orient students to U.S. culture
- to serve as a bridge to LEP and content classes at the Language Centers
- Orientation for students to school environment and community provided by classroom teachers, field trips and guest speakers
- Access to a wide range of support services such as assessment/placement by the Fort Worth ISD Student Placement Center, counseling services, home liaison services, community agency services, tutoring, parent meetings, health services, interpreters, work and career exploration and coordination with home schools
- Individualized instruction/attention made possible through low student/teacher ratios.
- Coordination between INA and home school which facilitates a smooth transition for students when they leave INA
- Activities designed to ensure students develop and maintain self-esteem and pride in their home language and culture
- Continual staff development providing teachers with the most up-to-date research and effective instructional methodologies and promoting collaborative planning and implementation of an appropriate instructional program
- School governance and leadership design which promotes shared decision making and emphasizes long-range planning.
INA students are assessed through the following methods:
- TELPAS-Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System
- STAAR L
- Achieve 3000
- Accelerated Reader STAR
INA educators recieved three years of intensive professional development in QTEL, Quality Teaching for English Learners, developed by WestEd’s Dr. Walqui. Teachers focus on engaging students in quality interactions of reading, speaking, listening, and writing through the tasks.
QTEL Coaches & PDers:
INA continues to support the professional development of our teachers through QTEL coaching and continued PD provided by 3 teachers who are QTEL certified Professional Developers. INA currently has 9 QTEL Coaches with 3 being QTEL PDer certified.
2016-2017 First Languages
Karen, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Krio, Kunama
Shan, Somali, Spanish, Swahili