School Partnerships

"I want to say that ¡Listo! has made this community even more intact and solid. We know that the administration is happy with what we're doing, but to hear them say that and say those words in our class and in the meetings actually makes us even more inspired. For them to feel and know that we are happy with their support, keeps us a solid school community and ¡Listo! has supported that spirit for the campus. We take a certain pride in that."

The ¡Listo! grant, through Texas A&M University-Commerce, is providing educational opportunities for teachers at the grant partnership schools. Lakeview Centennial High School and Bussey Middle School in Garland ISD and L.P. Waters Early Childhood Center and Carver Elementary in Greenville ISD are collaborative partners with the university. The grant aims to improve the ability of teachers to meet the needs of English Language Learner (ELL) students.

Opportunities for project teachers from the schools include the following:

  • Receive tuition and books for five master’s bilingual courses through a cohort
  • Obtain powerful learning materials for the classroom through mini-grant action research projects
  • Participate in state and national conferences, all expenses paid
  • Attend presentations by top scholars in the fields of bilingual and ESL education
  • Visit model two way immersion and SIOP schools
  • Join a learning community of committed innovative peers who help each other improve instruction for English learners
  • Design collaboratively the school’s model program
  • Create a demonstration school for student teachers and others
  • Possibly study abroad

Over the course of three years, the grant has paid for 103 course registrations for 41 teachers who have joined the cohort, and 12 teachers have made the decision to do an M.Ed. degree with A&M-Commerce, specializing in bilingual or ESL education.  Six of our graduate students have completed their program which consists of taking five graduate courses that will better prepare them to deliver effective bilingual or ESL instruction. Another 14 teachers should finish soon as they have only one or two more courses to finish.  All of these teachers currently provide instructional service to LEP students.

During this same period of time, partnership teachers have been awarded over $50,000 for mini-grant action research projects which have provided instructional materials for their classrooms. Among the materials are the Estrellita Spanish literacy materials, Spanish and bilingual children’s books, music, software, science kits, and math manipulatives. Teachers collected data on the effectiveness of the instructional approaches they used with the materials and presented it at the end of the year at mini grant exhibitions on their campuses.

Selected teachers also participated in regional and national professional development opportunities such as the national NABE conference and the state TABE (Texas Association for Bilingual Education) conference. Garland ISD teachers and administrators also attended the annual regional conference of the SETESOL and the state conference of Tex-TESOL and visited an exemplary middle school implementing the SIOP model in Galena Park, Texas.