Today the Richmond Times Dispatch has reported that Chesterfield County school leaders are supporting a plan that will add 28 full-time positions for English Language Learner classes. This is reassuring news, after the March 17 article reporting some troubling remarks about immigrant students from Dorothy Jaeckle, Chesterfield County’s top political leader.
In response to that article, the Richmond Teachers for Social Justice posted an open letter to the editor. We are relieved to learn that the attitudes expressed by Jaeckle did not prevent the school board from directing resources to the county’s rapidly growing ELL student population.
We are also pleased to learn that the county will shift toward the more inclusive model of educating ELL students in their home schools, rather than ESOL centers.
We hope that all school divisions will recognize the social and cognitive benefits of inclusive models, not only for their ELL students, but for all students attending culturally diverse schools.
We also hope to continue seeing expansions of support for our growing ELL population.