EL department’s mission

SHS aids to the learning of students

According to U.S. News, minorities make up for 55.7% of the SHS student body, with students from almost all across the world.

Southport has one of the most diverse populations in the state,” Peddie said.

Around ⅕ of Southport’s population consists of students that are English learners. Recently, there has been an influx of students from the countries Honduras and Tanzania though there are students who are from different countries here as well. 

Students like Julienne Yafasa, who is from Africa, have been positively affected by the EL department. 

“They [EL department] has helped me a lot especially with my reading, speaking, and handwriting so now I am proud of my English and handwriting,” Yafasa said.

To help the students from other countries, we have translators. There is one translator for the Burmese students, one who speaks Swahili, and two Spanish translators due to the major population increase. Hairo Rivas was a former SHS  student who graduated in 2018. He’s now a Spanish translator who decided to go down this career path in order to help students achieve their goals. Just like other tutors, translators, teachers and staff did for him when he himself was learning English, he is now giving back in the same way.

“I believe that Southport puts at its forefront to promote inclusion and diversity,” Rivas said. “Staff and faculty are constantly looking for ways to help those whose first language is not English.” 

 To help the students that are still learning English, SHS offers sheltered classes, English Language classes and extra support from interpreters during iPass and study halls. 

Sheltered classes are classes taught by Content Area teachers, but the classes only have one to two English learners in them. Some of the sheltered classes include English 9, 10, 11 and 12. There is also Biology, Geography and Math 10 for students who need basic math skills.

They also are given an individual learning plan which will explain how lessons should be modified so that the content can be easier to comprehend in their content areas classes such as gym and geography. 

As said in the EL Mission Statement, “Southport High School serves our diverse community by developing independent thinkers who excel in an ever-changing world,”