WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published February 14, 2012, 09:16 PM

Northside School Could be Home to Another English Language Learners Program

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV)- A northside neighborhood school may soon offer an English Language Learning program.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV)- A northside neighborhood school may soon offer an English Language Learning program.

On Monday, Grand Forks School District officials asked the School Board to add the district's second program to help alleviate overcrowding at Century Elementary school.

There are currently 80 ELL students at Century Elementary, but 40 of those students live outside the Century boundary.

If a program was put in place on the northside, those 40 students would be bused to a different school that offers ELL.

Adding a second English Language Learners program to the district has been in the works for two years now. 80 ELL students to one teacher has become too much.

"Now granted, all those kids aren't in her classroom at once but they do come and go and those kids have individual needs," said Century parent, Robin Benson.

There's been some concern as to why Century can't simply add another ELL teacher instead of making some kids go elsewhere for education. If a new program is approved students would be bused to either West or Winship.

"I think that that's a great solution because it will almost divide it in half and you'll have an ELL teacher at each location that's not being overtaxed for the population that she's trying to help," said Benson.

Century Parent Robin Benson, thinks ELL children can contribute something unique to the classroom.

"Teach our children different languages and customs that you know, the tooth fairy may not do the exact same thing in the United States that it may do in a country halfway around the world," said Benson.

There's still speculation for some ELL parents. Benson says many feel their children are being discriminated against, but she says the diversity many kids are taught from their peers at Century should be shared.

The cost of adding a second ELL program would range from 57,000 to 62,000 dollars.