When Marta Nangle joined the Hollister School District as the ESL Coordinator in 2017, there were 37 English Language Learners (ELL). In two short years, that number almost double with Mrs. Nangle servicing 63 students who English was their second language during the 2018-19 school year.
At the start of the 2019-2020 school year the number of students in the ESL program has slightly dropped. This is not due to students moving out of the Hollister R-V School District. According to Mrs. Nangle, it is because she was able to exit 5 students from her program. “Each year I administer a proficiency assessment, which is governed by DESE, to all students in Kindergarten through 12th grade identified as English Learners. This assessment allows the district and myself to monitor students’ progress in acquiring academic English language. Last year, I had 5 students who had made sufficient progress in their academic English proficiency and are able to exit the ESL program.”
Mrs. Nangle says that she will continue to monitor these students for another 2 years. “When a student exits the ESL program, we continue to monitor them for an additional 2 years. If at any point we see that a student is struggling in a
particular area, we can provide them ESL services as needed.”
While the number of students Mrs. Nangle services is slightly less than last year, she does anticipate that number will increase. “We are still having a lot of new families move into the area that parents and children either speak no English or have limited English proficiency,” Nangle shares. And according to data from the Missouri Department of Education, the number of English Language Learners in Missouri continues to rise.
Because of this trend, Mrs. Nangle and the Hollister R-V School District are making proactive moves to continue to build upon the success of Hollister’s ESL program. This year Hollister hired Priscilla Halbrook part time as a paraprofessional to assist Mrs. Nangle in providing services and working with students. Mrs. Nangle also applied for and received two grants, one from White River Electric and the other from the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation. She is using monies from these grants to purchase bilingual books for all levels of students and other educational tools. Nangle is also developing a warehouse of resources for all teachers preschool through high school to give them the tools to provide effective support and instruction for English Learners.
In 2017 the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported that only 69.9% of ELL students graduate high school. That is not a statistic that Mrs. Nangle will accept for her Hollister students. “My hope is to see
all of my students, and their families, become more involved in school activities, to be comfortable in our school environment. I am very thankful for the collaboration of all our teachers and I praise the Hollister Administration for their efforts in programs and partnerships that benefit all students.”
In 2019, 100% of Hollister R-V School District’s ELL Seniors graduated.