An EL Level 5 student celebration will be held for the first time at SHS on Feb. 4, 2015 during iPass. This event is not open to the public or anyone who wants to be a part of it, but 70 Level 5 students were invited, according to SHS Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) expert Mr. Mike Klopfenstein.
Klopfenstein says SHS principal Ms. Barbara Brouwer will be there to give a speech and at least three administrators from PTEC are coming, including Administrator of EL Learning and Professional Development Mrs.Jane Pollard.
This celebration will include all EL students who tested and passed overall Level 5 on their LAS LINKS test last year or the past two years. However, this doesn’t include students who have been in Level 5 for more than two years, Klopfenstein says.
There are two reasons behind this celebration, according to Klopfenstein. The first reason for this event was to celebrate their accomplishment. Since English is a very difficult language to learn, he says kids worked really hard for many years to get to the highest level.. Klopfenstein says these students are considered English fluent at that point.
The second reason is to provide enticement for students who are in a lower level and still need to take the test, according to Klopfenstein. He says he hopes the enticement will be a lot of help to many lower level students who want to work harder and will also inspire them to become Level 5 students.
A certificate of recognition and a T-shirt supporting the Level 5 students will be given to each student, and there will also be a lot of food, according to Klopfenstein.
It’s important to have many Level 5 students because SHS and the school district are assessed partially by how many people make it to Level 5 each year. For this reason, the highest level deserves to have a celebration and to be recognized, Klopfenstein says.
“We’re excited to hold this celebration for the first time ever at Southport High School,” Klopfenstein said. “These kids have work very hard to learn English and they deserve to be celebrated.”
Freshmen Ahmet Minnich has been in America for almost 10 years and claims that he didn’t know any english when he arrived in the US. He first started learning english when he was in first grade and continued to get better each year, Minnich says. From summer school programs and help from the teachers, he eventually reached Level 5 last year, as an 8th grader.. He plans to go to the celebration and enjoy the time with some of his friends. To him, the key to success, from the EL class, is to study hard and use the language as much as possible, especially with friends and family.
“I feel relieved that I passed (LAS LINKS) because I’ve been wanting to pass it for a couple of years, I am so happy that there’s going to be a celebration about it.” Minnich said.
EL teacher Mr. Robert Hoffman-Longtin says he is excited about the celebration and thought it a good idea to have a celebration for Level 5 students and to thank them for their hard work. This celebration has never happened in the past, Hoffman-Longtin says, and that EL students work really hard to be in Level 5 and deserve to be recognize by the teachers. Being in Level 5 means a lot, it’s really important for the school and the school district because the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) measure the average of Level 4 students making it to Level 5 each year.
“Making it into Level 5 is an honor. It shows employers, colleges and teachers that you work hard and learn the language,” Hoffman-Longtin said. “You can put that on your resume.”