Funded by a National Professional Development grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the Culturally Responsive Instruction for English Language Learners project provides building-wide professional development tailored to each member of staff – from paraprofessionals to principals – to transform the culture of schools by supporting culturally responsive instruction to English language learners (ELLs) and building relationships within the community to serve them.

The project provides a unique opportunity for Kansas City Public School (KCPS) and charter school teachers who teach high populations of ELLs by covering tuition for the seven graduate courses leading to certification in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Most participants choose to take an additional four classes to earn a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).

In its third year, the five-year grant will allow Webster University to train and certify close to 100 teachers in ESOL by summer 2017. Applications are accepted year around and reviewed late fall and late spring. For information on how to apply, please email the grant coordinator.

The project blog informs program participants about community resources for ELL families and teachers, provides information on using iPads in the classroom, and celebrates the various cultures represented in Kansas City classrooms.

Contributors include the staff of the Language Services Department of KCPS and project staff at Webster University.

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