This paper looks into how New Brookhaven School’s English language learners and students with disabilities can be adequately handled and how well they can cope with the institution’s education environment. The paper also looks into how the federal laws and advances in technology can be utilized when helping English learners with disabilities to gain a wholesome education through the provision of adequate and relevant resources. The report covers the challenges that are faced by schools such as New Brookhaven and how these issues can be resolved. The paper also discusses how behavioral infractions are addressed in regards to the unique situation of these students. Finally, the report offers recommendations that both students and teachers can utilize whilst ensure their freedom and safety.
Background Scenario for Brookhaven School
Brookhaven School offers special education services to students at the middle school level. The school features a mixture of both students with disabilities and English language learners. The institution’s staff includes teachers who have worked at New Brookhaven for periods of five to ten years. Consequently, it is the role of teachers to identify the students who have learning disabilities and their expected levels of teaching attention. The classrooms at New Brookhaven are designed to welcome and address the needs of all students comfortably, but the school lacks modern amenities that might make students’ lives easier. While teaching in the Brookhaven type of environment, teachers need to engage in programs that train them on modes of updating new learning and collaborative skills. This practice ensures that the students’ needs are identified and solved in the correct way, especially in environments where technological tools are lacking.
In New Brookhaven, most teachers are firmly enjoined with the methods that they believe in (their notion is if it is not broken, do not fix it). Teachers also understand the complexities that come with students who require special needs, and having English language learners in one class is an accommodation-stipulation that is catered for on a daily basis by the teachers in Brookhaven School. The school’s administration believes that it has done its best to create the best educational environment within New Brookhaven School.
However, the collaborative effort between administrators, teachers, and parents in regards to English language learners (ELL) with disabilities is not up to the expected standards. This situation is also precipitated by the fact that the parents of some students with disabilities do not speak English, and they require translators to communicate with teachers and other administrators. The care that is given to students with disabilities has elements of exclusion because this group is often excluded from standardized testing and a wide range of other classroom activities. In the past, this situation has never been an issue, but some parents have lodged complaints in regards to this issue.
The teachers work closely with the students and educational experts, who include specialists, translators, and clinicians, in order to ensure that the needs of every student are well addressed. Some of the ELL students with disabilities have, on some occasions, displayed behavioral outbursts in class. The school’s main goal in regards to this consultation exercise is to ensure that “the students gain a sense of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity which are all important factors when fostering a good educational environment” (McDonough, 2009, p. 3).
How to Establish Integrated Programs for ELL Students with Disabilities
According to a report by the New York board reagent, there are several options in regards to improving the career readiness of trainee students who might encounter ELL with disabilities. One option of establishing an integrated program for ELL is through Career and Technical Education (CTE). CTE’s access to students with disabilities and ELL students has been faced with various statistical barriers. This problem has translated to the fact that the graduation levels of ELL students with disabilities are below 50% and 30% in most states within the United States, as stated by NYSED (McDonough, 2009).
Parents of the students at Brookhaven have complained that the levels at which students are taught and tested in this school are below the ones that apply to the rest of the students at Brookhaven. It is up to the school administrators to decide if they can sidestep the challenges that are associated with their ELL students with disabilities. When readily available CTE programs are offered to ELL students with disabilities, they can enable them to attain a graduation-level education.
One author points out “how students with disabilities are steered towards traditional education, due to past nonperformance” (McDonough, 2009, p. 129). Hence, there is an internalized perception that makes college a non-option for ELL students in the course of their educational experience. However, if Brookhaven chooses to pursue this option, the decision to replace traditional forms of education can only be made in reference to the needs and abilities of individual students. Nevertheless, CTE programs are often the subject of other challenges in their quest to provide appropriate resources to students, including workplace discrimination and inaccessibility.
Consequently, New Brookhaven’s approach should be aimed at eliminating the challenges that are making it difficult for people with disabilities to progress. If these barriers are not addressed, then they will continue to hinder the essential component of the CTE programs. For instance, in regards to the ELL challenge at Brookhaven, most of the CTE staff is yet to develop an integrated development of the curriculum, thereby making it difficult for the learners to access interpretation and translation facilities. This omission leads to the large gap between the ELL learners and their instructors since no structural collaboration exists.
Case Law Programs That Impact Students with Disabilities and ELL Students
According to the Florida Department of Education, “there are several federal laws that protect ELL students with disabilities” (Haager & Windmueller, 2001, p. 235). The laws include the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2001, and it is also known as the ‘No child left behind initiative’. This initiative ensures that there is equal educational achievement for all students. This legislation also ensures that all students with disabilities are catered for and that they are provided with the right quality of education. Brookhaven can utilize this law to petition the government to provide it with additional resources in regards to the welfare of the ELL students with disabilities.
There are government-funded resources that can come in handy when the headmaster at Brookhaven School is trying to eliminate the problem of lack of adequate technology within the school. On most occasions, all a school administrator has to do is to make a formal request on behalf of his/her students. Furthermore, the school can seek extra sponsorship on behalf of the students with disabilities. In essence, the Elementary and Secondary School Act gives individuals the schools administrations the right to ‘demand’ for improvements from either the school proprietors or the government agencies.
The ELL students should be accommodated similarly to students with disabilities according to the ‘Rule 6A-6.09091, F.A.C’. Consequently, the instructional accommodations that are offered to the ELL students should also include limited assistance in the form of the students’ first language. Henceforth, the language assistance that is required from the instructors of the ELL students with disability at Brookhaven School should be availed to the students as part of an ‘equal opportunities’ sponsorship. The Assertive Technology Act was used to design a comprehensive learning curriculum. This legal-stipulation enables the disabled students to stay engaged to normative learning procedures. In addition, the law can help the instructors to plan, execute, present, and access information through resources such as websites, e-books, online translators, and many more.
How to Address Behavioral Infractions
The behavioral “infractions experienced by students with disabilities have to be handled using professional problem solving skills” (Ohlund, Sonnenberg, & Smith, 2009). This goal can be achieved by ensuring that before a student is expelled or punished for a minor or even major behavioral problem, he/she is evaluated by a professional. The students at Brookhaven need to be well observed in order for instructors to understand why they are exhibiting behavioral outbursts. This examination can be done by recording each behavior, having a one-on-one talk with the student, or even spending a few observation-centered days. In case one solution does not work, then the instructors should come up with new ways of helping their students.
Needs of Students and Teachers in Regards to Teacher-Student Freedom and Safety
The decision to make sure that the students are applying their ‘cycle of courage’ to the educational environment is going to help and identify why there several behavioral infractions among Brookhaven ELL students. The solutions to this problem will help to indicate how the outbursts can be resolved without having to send a student away from school. The value of education is often higher in instances where the students do not institute breaks in the course of their schooling. Larry Brentro’s cycle of courage revolves around a “sense of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity and it enables the student to fit well in a classroom relationship with the teacher” (McCardle, 2005, p. 129). In addition, teachers will benefit from having assertive technology devices that assist in identifying and providing ideas that will assist them when they are presenting concepts.
There are other several techniques that can be used to provide teacher-student freedom and safety, including cultivating a caring student/teacher relationship. One study showed that “teachers who developed an interpersonal connection with the students who were friendlier and less dissatisfied were considered to be best teachers by learners” (Echevarria & Graves, 2007, p. 45). Henceforth, communication among teachers is not restricted and students often feel free and safe with these kinds of teachers.
Helping “students become more self-directed by identifying their strengths and accommodating them to work on those strengths that enable them to work on their best areas and develop interest in those areas” (Cartledge & Kourea, 2008, p. 354). Students whose self-esteem is low need to be engaged in order to develop the sense of belonging and mastery that can enable them to communicate better. The main issue with the students who have behavioral outbursts in Brookhaven might be directly connected with their ability to communicate better. The teachers and parents need to address the students’ need to communicate in a better and professional manner.
Nurturing the sense of belonging in New Brookhaven School will help students to develop a sense of respect, understanding, and self-interest. This is due to the fact that the school is small and it is more connected to the community, teachers, and the student population. Individuals who are disabled in different ways and lack proficiency in a common language are more venerable to finding solace through a ‘similar sense’ of understanding. Therefore, by developing a certain sense of belonging these students get to feel safer and free to talk and express themselves to their teachers.
A Plan to Meet Needs of ELL Students, Students with Disability, and Parents
ELL students with disabilities, parents, and individuals with disabilities will require a series of procedures in order to develop a good plan for their issues.
Initial Assessment- this is the time that will be given to the students to settle into their new environments. During this initial assessment, the major focus will involve the teachers observing the students in order for them to learn how they are copping within the classroom environment. On the other hand, the parents will bring out any medical history that concerns their students. Clear distinction and keen observance should be applied in respect to ELL students because this could enhance the students’ response to their respective disabilities.
Language acquisition or cognitive difficulty: Once the initial assessment is done, the teacher should have a clear understanding of the students and know which ones actually have cognitive difficulties and which ones have a language acquisition problem. The responses should then be compared and crosschecked as per performance in order to ensure that all ELL students with cognitive disability have been identified.
Academic interventions: If an ELL student with disability is identified and is having any special needs, academic results should be recorded and well assessed before requesting a formal intervention. It is very important that the student gets an English second-language teacher so that he/she can be well assessed to ensure that fair judgment is maintained and that the student’s rate of progress is maintained. The students with special needs should be well identified and aided with the assertive technological services in order for them to progress.
Special Education Support: this happens after all the initial assessments are done and the student applies for the special education aid. In addition, the parents should ensure that the aid that the child is getting will help him/her to grow into a fully self-dependent individual. ELL students with disabilities should be much better off if they are provided with an English secondary-learner teacher for their progress to be positive.
Strategy used for Securing Technology Funding
Securing funded-technology in order to meet student, teacher, and parent’s needs will require a service that will enable Brookhaven School to maintain certain standards. For instance, one expert points out that this strategy should assist the institution in cutting the cost of maintaining technology with the view of keeping their activities modern (Scott, 2008). In addition, using the negotiating preference allows the school to be able to cut down the cost of installing and maintaining services.
There are three major challenges that the school is going to face and they include having the ability to maintain adequate technology and keeping it up to date and modern. In addition, the school’s annual operation cost, which includes training and repair, can restrict the implementation of this strategy. The capital expenditure required to install the entire technological idea and making it work can also be restrictive.
Cartledge, G., & Kourea, L. (2008). Culturally responsive classrooms for culturally diverse students with and at risk for disabilities. Exceptional Children, 74(3), 351-371.
Echevarria, J., & Graves, A. W. (2007). Sheltered content instruction: Teaching English language learners with diverse abilities. New York: Pearson Allyn and Bacon.
Haager, D., & Windmueller, M. P. (2001). Early reading intervention for English language learners at-risk for learning disabilities: Student and teacher outcomes in an urban school. Learning Disability Quarterly, 24(4), 235-250.
McCardle, P. (2005). Learning disabilities in English language learners: Identifying the issues. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 20(1), 1-5.
McDonough, K. M. (2009). Analysis of the expressive language characteristics of emotionally handicapped students in social interactions. Behavioral Disorders, 4(4), 127-139.
Ohlund, B., Sonnenberg, M., & Smith, H. (2009). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Behavioral Disorders, 25(1), 83-84. (Scott, A. (2008). Personal interview.)