ELL News Headlines

Throughout the week, Colorín Colorado gathers news headlines related to English language learners from around the country. The ELL Headlines are posted Monday through Friday and are available for free!

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Kids with disabilities blocked from bilingual programs

For almost a decade, Simón López, the special education coordinator at Boston’s Sarah Greenwood School, has been fighting against the school district that employs him. He has lobbied principals, written letters to the revolving door of superintendents in the district, made his case to school board members and even contacted state education agency officials. All to no avail. His cause? López maintains that the Sarah Greenwood School’s coveted dual language program, which teaches students in both English and Spanish, is violating civil rights laws by intentionally excluding many students with emotional disabilities — including some native Spanish speakers who would benefit from a bilingual approach.

They depended on their parents for everything. Then the virus took both.

News that the novel coronavirus had arrived in Michigan first reached the Ismael family's working-class suburb north of Detroit in early March. The Ismael children, aged 13, 18, and 20, didn't worry about it because they seldom worried about anything. That's how their mom and dad wanted it. The family had come to the United States eight years earlier after escaping Iraq, a country that had grown increasingly dangerous for Chaldean Catholics like them. By mid May, their parents had both died of COVID-19, leaving the teens to cope on their own.

Schools face unprecedented pressure as they grapple with reopening

Parents across the U.S. are wondering what the next school year will hold for their children. While reopening decisions will ultimately be up to state and local officials, President Trump said Tuesday he'll pressure governors to resume in-person classes. Judy Woodruff talks to Noel Candelaria of the Texas State Teachers Association and Elliot Haspel, an education policy expert and former teacher.

Grandparents assuming more child-care duties – and risk – during pandemic

When Carly Eddington needs someone to watch her four-year-old daughter Aylah in a pinch, her mother Kathy answers the call. The coronavirus pandemic, of course, changed everything. Now, Kathy's child-care duties have ramped up to around 20 hours a week. "My mom loves spending the time, but I battle with it. She has a physical disability and multiple health issues. She’s willing and able, but a full day with my daughter is exhausting for me at 32, let alone my mom at 65." Rachel Margolis knows exactly where this is heading. The Western University associate professor and sociologist expects parents in dual-earning households will either lean harder on grandparent assistance or drop down to a single income for the foreseeable future.

For refugees, pandemic adds to the hardship of a new life

More than an estimated 10,000 displaced people in the D.C. region have uprooted their lives to escape terror and persecution in their home countries, only to encounter a new struggle, tinged by the virus, in the United States. Many work essential jobs and live in crowded apartments that make social distancing nearly impossible. And because many recently settled refugees have not yet filed for taxes, some could not receive stimulus checks, making their economic struggles more difficult. Language barriers add another layer of complexity.

Urgent deadline approaches for international college students fighting to stay in U.S.

With an urgent deadline approaching Wednesday, the collective force of California’s three public systems of higher education, which educate nearly 3 million students, have joined the legal fight to stop federal immigration authorities from banning international students from the U.S. if they take only online courses this fall.

The Virus and the Vulnerable: Latino Children Suffer Higher Rates of COVID-19

As COVID-19 ravages California and the nation, the number of children infected is also rising, especially among Latino children. They are testing positive at higher rates than other groups of children, accounting for the majority of all California cases among those under 18. Latino minors make up 67% of the cases where race/ethnicity is known, despite being only 48% of the state’s population of kids.

South suburban schools to start a new school year like no other amid COVID-19 concerns

Monitored bathroom breaks, backpacks instead of lockers, lunch eaten in the classroom instead of the cafeteria. As south and southwest suburban school districts prep for what will certainly be a dramatically different return to the classroom next month, uncertainties loom over how to accommodate social distancing, and activities such as physical education and music will be altered.

These 8 Basic Steps Will Let Us Reopen Schools

In this piece for The Atlantic, former CDC Director Thomas Frieden, and former secretaries of education Arne Duncan and Margaret Spellings, lay out eight steps that could help schools find ways to reopen in the coming year. They write, "If we move too fast, ignore science, or reopen without careful planning, this will backfire. We can reopen if we follow commonsense guidelines...The single most important thing we can do to keep our schools safe has nothing to do with what happens in schools. It’s how well communities control the coronavirus throughout the community."

For the Corona Family, Normal Life Faded Away as COVID-19 Wiped Out Jobs, School and Other Daily Routines They Relied On

For some families, like the Coronas, the next school year will be spent rebuilding what fell apart this year. They’re nervous about the reopenings that have caused virus cases to skyrocket in Texas, but at the same time anxious to go back to work and school. School took a back seat to work for 16-year-old Mia. Still, she made it through the school year. Her 14-year-old sister Aaliyha could not concentrate because of anxiety and frustration and quit logging on to her remote lessons. “I made lots of mistakes. I decided not to do my work or do it last minute,” Aaliyha said. “I decided to do my own thing, which I really regret.” She’s determined to get things back on track next academic year. Spend a day with the Corona family.

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