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District Provides Culturally Responsive Program for Parents

The Mount Vernon City School District (MVCSD) remains committed to implementing culturally responsive-sustaining practices to support its multilingual families. One example of the district’s efforts to foster inclusivity is the English as a Second Language (ESOL) program at Lincoln School.

The parent liaison, Ms. Sandra O’Connor in collaboration with the English as a New Language teacher, Susan Lombardi identified a great need in the Lincoln School community to provide ESOL classes for Arabic-speaking families. In consultation with the Office of School Improvement, under the leadership of Dr. Bennett-Conroy, Ms. O’Connor and Ms. Lombardi worked together to establish a partnership to respond to this need.

The goal of Lincoln School’s ESOL program is to enhance parents’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English so that they can participate in the everyday lives of their children inside and outside of school.  The parents and guardians for whom English is not the first language expressed an interest in increasing their English-speaking language abilities to deepen the connection between home and school.

One parent, Mona, stated, “ The teachers help us to get this class two days a week. The teacher helps us to use words in daily life-shopping, hospital and regular day. We really love what they do for us to make us go to a high level. I really appreciate Lincoln School and thank you, Mount Vernon City School District.”

The MVCSD is excited that parents and guardians have the opportunity to increase their abilities to communicate in English. The goal is to foster a sense of belonging among Arabic families that they will feel more comfortable in, 1) helping their children with schoolwork, 2) interacting with the school community, and 3) conversing with school staff.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to the community and the exciting start of our partnership,” states assistant principal, Mr. Marc Molina.

The ESOL program has approximately twenty-five parents and guardians in regular attendance. Classes take place twice per week for 2 hours each session for a total of 12 weeks. Families can contact the parent liaison at Lincoln School, Ms. Sandra O’Connor to register for these free ESOL classes.