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High School To Hire Instructional Assistant For English Language Learners

The Burlington School Committee Tuesday approved the district to hire a new English Language Instructional Assistant to support about 77 English Language Learners in the high school, many of whom are new arrivals with limited or interrupted formal education.  “Many of these high school students don’t have a foundation of even elementary content,” said Superintendent Dr. Eric Conti. “Throwing them into a BHS schedule without any support would be a recipe for creating dropouts.”  The new instructional assistant, whose salary will likely come from the district’s existing salary budget line and will not require additional funds, will support in introductory courses that help students get up to speed.  Dr. Conti said that unlike in years past, English Language Learner students are often arriving in the middle of the school year, with English fluency and with more support needs.  But the influx of new arrivals is not new for Burlington; a newcomers academy begun this year is serving students who may be working jobs alongside their education.