On July 26th, Center City Public Charter Schools was awarded a grant from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to share its effective ESL After the Bell program with H.D. Cooke Elementary School, a traditional public school. The program has helped English Learners (ELs) at Center City learn English and succeed academically. Specifically, in the 2015-16 school year, English Learners approached or met expectations on the state assessment (the PARCC) at a higher rate than EL students across the District of Columbia in both mathematics and English/Language Arts. As the District of Columbia educates a growing number of English Language Learners, high-quality programming to help students learn English will be critical. Between the 2011-12 and 2016-17 school years, DC experienced a 44% increase in the English Learner student population.

ESL After the Bell provides after-school, English instruction to English Learners at three Center City campuses–Center City Brightwood, Petworth, and Shaw. H.D. Cooke will implement the program with guidance from Center City. The grant will also support enhancements to Center City’s ESL After the Bell program, including a longer program (from 16 to 24 weeks) and an additional day of instruction in Spanish.

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