Oshkosh Area School District Awarded Teacher Training Grant to Support English-learners

posted Jan 18, 2019, 7:15 AM by Katie Nieman
The Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) was recently awarded grant funds to support the continued development of teachers who are focused on educating English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students. The District partnered with the Appleton Area School District, the Menasha Joint School District, and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where collectively all received a Wisconsin Fast Forward Teacher Training and Development Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The $112,422 grant will be used to train up to 20 current teachers and paraprofessional teachers in the area of Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language (ESL). 
“As a district, we are committed to meeting the needs of all students. This grant will allow us to further enhance the services we provide to our English-learner students,” stated Dr. Vickie Cartwright, OASD Superintendent. “By partnering with area school districts and our local university, we are beginning to explore new ways to train our own teachers and attract more interest to this area.”
All participants that successfully complete the program will receive an ESL license from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, which is an approved education preparation program of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Those that pass the fluency test in an additional language and take Course 549 - Content Area Bilingual Instructions, will also receive a license in bilingual education.  

The Bilingual Education and ESOL training program will begin in summer 2019. The grant will cover all tuition expenses for OASD teachers to attend classes as part of the training program. (NOTE: Classes will take place during non-contract hours and may be held during weekends and evenings or they may be intensive summer classes. Additional details will be shared during upcoming informational sessions.) Informational sessions will take place the week of January 28, 2019; a session will be held in Oshkosh on Thursday, January 31 at 3:45 p.m. The online application deadline is Monday, February 11, 2019; the application is available at uwosh.edu/coehs/projectamor. For more information click on the Project Amor Program Flyer.

In total, DWD presented $3.5 million in grants to 32 school districts to license more than 370 teachers in various academic areas, including special education, career and technical education, general education, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
"An important factor contributing to a student's educational success is the quality of the teaching received," said DWD Secretary Ray Allen. "By empowering our teachers with best practices and fresh strategies on teaching methods, we enhance student learning, all of which will support an accelerated future workforce in Wisconsin." The preparation of highly skilled bilingual individuals by area schools will increase the local economy’s ability to compete effectively in the global marketplace. 
For a full list of grant recipients, please visit http://dwd.wisconsin.gov.
The OASD serves 10,000 students and over 55 home languages are spoken in the district. The district's English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program serves students (and families) whose primary home language is any language other than English. It begins at the pre-kindergarten level and extends through 12th grade. The mission of the District’s ESOL program is to prepare English learners to be college, career and community ready through collaborative instruction. The OASD immerses English learners into content-driven courses, while building cultural awareness; and English learners receive linguistic, social, emotional, academic and cultural support in an inclusive environment. Along with extensive translation and interpreter services, the district also employs five bilingual teaching assistants - fluent in Spanish, Arabic, Hmong, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Kurdish and Turkish.