English Learner Education
English Learner Pathways at Somerville High School
The GOAL Program
The GOAL Program offers over-age English learners an alternative pathway toward their high school diploma. The students served in the GOAL Program can face academic, language, social/emotional, work/life balance, and engagement challenges that make the traditional path to high school graduation extremely difficult. This program is the preferred option for students who enroll in high school when they are 17 to 20 years old and 3 or 4 credit years behind their traditional high school peers. GOAL students begin their high school careers at Somerville High School, where they benefit from beginner ESL instruction as well as foundational math and science courses. GOAL students at SHS are integrated with SHS students and take courses from the SHS course catalog in every department. They also participate in a GOAL Seminar for targeted academic and social/emotional supports as well as community building and transition planning. GOAL students at Somerville High School receive additional support through flexible scheduling, an expanded school year with a summer component, and wraparound support services. After advancing to SCALE (Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences), students continue their academic preparation in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Biology in order to pass the three MCAS exams. Finally, students complete the Adult Diploma Program (ADP) in order to receive their high school diploma. The program philosophy is that young adult students can achieve their GOAL through Goal Setting, Open Dialogue, Academic Preparation, and Language Practice.
English Learner Intensive
This program is designed for students who have significant personal or family circumstances that limit their ability to attend a full school schedule. These circumstances may include, but are not limited to: working full-time to support their family or themselves or care of their child, sibling, or other family member. Juniors or seniors who are on pace to graduate can enroll in an approved, reduced course-load that still preserves their original intended graduation date. All courses are from the SHS course catalog. Students are then able to begin their school day at 9:00, end at 1:30, or both. Students who would benefit from this pathway are encouraged to accumulate credit for graduation early in their academic careers via traditional means, extended school day study, blended learning using technology, and summer credit-bearing study. They benefit from daily check-ins with the English Learner Pathways teacher and coordinator and access to tutors and homework help as needed.
Somerville SAFE for SIFE Program, “Students Accessing Formal Education”
Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) are offered a cluster of courses to prepare them academically for full engagement in Somerville High School curriculum. A SIFE student’s course of study is determined by the EL counselor after review of the student’s educational history. Ongoing support for these students is supplemented by the English Learner Pathways teacher and coordinator. Students are enrolled in “SAFE Daily Seminar” which offers the development of independent skills for school success, socio-emotional systems of support, and contextual learning opportunities. SAFE for SIFE students are also encouraged to take advantage of extended learning time after school and/or academic tutoring before and after school at the SHS EL Welcome Center and may enroll in the Summer EL Newcomer Program to receive intensive English Language Development and Math Instruction. SAFE Program teachers and the EL Welcome Center multilingual staff meet on a regular basis to review students’ academic progress and need for additional social supports and community resources.