ELL News Headlines

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Fourth Grade Teacher Named Rising Star Teacher of the Year

A teacher at Chevy Chase Elementary School for three years, Amanda Hammersla has been named this year’s Rising Star Teacher of the Year. This award honors a teacher in their first, second or third year of teaching. The winner shows a passion for the success of all students, creatively engages students in learning and contributes to a strong, positive partnership among students, staff, parents and the community.

Engaging Latino Parents: One District’s Success Story

If school districts want a broader, more diverse group of parents to attend meetings, ask questions, and participate in school-based activities, they can’t just invite families to show up—they need to set up systems that make them feel welcome and heard. That was one of the takeaways from a panel on Latino parent engagement March 8 at SXSW EDU, the annual education conference hosted in Austin.

Family reunited after four years separated by Trump-era immigration policy

A father separated from his family by a Trump administration immigration policy was finally able to return to the U.S. last month, after almost four years. When José Luis Ruiz Arévalos left the U.S. in May 2019, he thought he would be gone six days. Instead, he was forced to stay out of the country for almost four years. His absence created emotional and financial burdens for his entire family and derailed some of his children’s college plans.

What parents need to know about their teens’ mental health

Years ago, when I was still coaching high school cross country, a teenage girl skipped up to me after practice with a warning: Don’t count on her to race all the time. If her nerves got too intense before races, she might have to bow out in advance. “I have anxiety!” she explained with a nervous grin. 

She Drew on Her Love of Soccer and Dolly Parton to Create Schools for Immigrants

Growing up in Amman, Jordan, Luma Mufleh had an unusual role model: Dolly Parton. Watching Parton play a secretary who teams up with two coworkers to get the better of their bully of a boss in the 1980 movie “9 to 5" inspired Mufleh’s own sense of resilience as a young immigrant, and later an educator.

These students raised hundreds of thousands to make their playground accessible

When he'd go outside at recess, John Buettner would dream of learning the monkey-bars. The fifth-grader uses a wheelchair, so they aren't accessible to him—in fact, most of the playground at Glen Lake Elementary School isn't. Meanwhile, Betsy Julien would look out from her classroom window as she ate lunch, at the students in their wheelchairs, and thought, "Our playground is not set up for everybody in the school to play and have fun." Julien's own son is a third-grader at Glen Lake, in the Minneapolis suburb of Hopkins, and he uses a wheelchair, too. "So, this dream and passion of being able to have an accessible piece of equipment has been with me for a long time." Now, thanks to this teacher and her students, that dream is about to come true in a bigger way than she ever imagined.

Interview: How some Sacramento area school districts are helping refugee students and families

Over the past couple of years, Sacramento has become a home to diasporas from all over the world — from Afghanistan following the chaotic and deadly U.S. withdrawal, leaving the country under Taliban control, to Ukraine, which has just entered its second year of the war. There are many other examples from Syria to Latin America, just to name a few of the people and families fleeing their homeland for safety and abruptly uprooted as refugees.