Rogers Public Schools Improve Achievement for English Learners

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Teachers gain new, practical skills to support English-learning students with Pearson's SIOP program

Rogers Public Schools has faced tremendous growth in the number of English learners during the last 10 years

In Rogers Public Schools in Arkansas, more than 4,000 students are English learners--and that number is rapidly growing. Since 1995, the number of English learners has nearly quintupled, growing from 6 percent to almost 30 percent of the total student enrollment.

To succeed in school, these students must master not only English vocabulary and grammar, but also the way English is used in core content classes. Common academic words like microscope, for example, might be familiar to native English speakers, but not to many English learners.

Rogers Public Schools takes an innovative approach to enhance the learning experience for English learners and their teachers, using Pearson's popular Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol Model (SIOP). Classroom teachers, academic coaches and administrators use this scientifically-based, research-driven method to teach English learners using sheltered instruction. Sheltered instruction is a practical approach to teaching subjects such as math, science or social studies in a way that makes the concepts easier to understand, while at the same time strengthening a student's academic English language development.

"Rogers Public Schools has faced tremendous growth in the number of English learners during the last 10 years," said ESOL/Migrant Education Director Tricia Todd. "With this rapid increase, along with the increased accountability requirements of No Child Left Behind, the district saw a need to train teachers with research-based practices proven to improve the performance of English learners. SIOP is a model that will assist us with our mission of providing an environment of educational excellence where all belong, all learn and all succeed."

Todd said that as a result of its efforts, Rogers Public Schools is already beginning to see positive results, with the tentative literacy scores for English learners at one junior high school rising from 28 percent to 42 percent.

About Rogers Public Schools
Rogers Public Schools in Rogers, Ark., is committed to providing an environment of educational excellence where all belong, all learn and all succeed. It is a growing district, adding one new school almost every year. The district serves more than 13,400 students in its 14 elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools and an alternative school.

About the SIOP Model
SIOP is used as a model for lesson planning and implementation of high quality sheltered instruction for all educators across content areas. SIOP goes beyond instruction for English learners and has been shown to be effective in addressing the needs of all students.

The SIOP Model was developed by Dr. Jana Echevarria, a Professor of Education at California State University, Long Beach; MaryEllen Vogt, Ed.D., Professor Emerita of Education at California State University, Long Beach; and Deborah J. Short, Ph.D., former director of Academic Language Research & Training and senior research associate at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, D.C. The model is the outcome of a seven-year research project (1996-2003) conducted with grant funding from the Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (CREDE), a national research center funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement (now the Institute of Education Sciences). Its purpose was to identify key practices for sheltered instruction and develop a professional development model for teachers to effectively use sheltered instruction.

About Pearson
Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today's digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company's investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company's respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, Educational Measurement, Educational Assessment, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker, and many others. Pearson's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson's commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to

Leslie Eicher, APR @ 314-965-1776 or


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