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Brittany Hawkins Staff Photo

About the Team 

Department Mission

As you explore our English Learners team website, you will notice lighthouse themes throughout. Our department aspires to be a lighthouse in schools, serving as a beacon of hope and help to students as well as other teachers. When we think of a lighthouse, we think of a structure that is immovable, consistent, strong, bright, and on a firm foundation. We hope you find our site brings you helpful tips in a way that shines brightly and provides a source of hope to the challenges you face in the classroom. 

We are committed to working together to find the best ways to serve all students and help make their educational experience a positive one. Our department's motto is, "Know every child; grow every child." Through building relationships, taking a special interest in getting to know students, expounding on their prior knowledge, and executing effective EL instructional strategies, we know all children will have the opportunity to excel.  #bethelighthouse 

Each school is provided with the services of an EL teacher.
The role of the EL teacher is as follows:

  • Provide English language instruction for students
  • Collaborate with school staff in the language development of ELs
  • Obtain Home Language Surveys in which a language other than English is indicated from MSIS/Cohort clerks
  • Administer placement test for identification of ELs
  • Ensure all original EL documents are filed in students’ cumulative folders
  • Maintain and distribute EL rosters to stakeholders as changes occur
  • Collaborate with SET team to ensure exiting and monitoring criteria are met
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to ensure best practices and supports for ELs are made available
  • Continue to participate in opportunities which will further expand expertise in the field
  • Adhere to the guidelines outlined in the DeSoto County EL teacher handbook
  • Perform tasks and assume responsibilities as may be assigned by the Director of EL Services or superintendent
  • Adhere to the Mississippi Code of Ethics
  • Maintain confidentiality and privacy of all DeSoto County Schools’ records 

In addition to the EL teachers, all DeSoto County teachers are language teachers. All teachers should hold ELs to the same high academic standards that are expected of all students; however, content teachers must understand that to do this, differentiated instruction, modifications, and accommodations must be provided to each EL for instruction and assessment to be meaningful and to meet individual needs as required by law. #knoweverychildgroweverychild #onefamilyonefocus #TeamDCS

If content teachers need ideas, recommendations, or research on best practices for English Learners to help make accommodations in the classroom, feel free to contact me via email any time. It's my pleasure to share resources and encourage us all to work together to serve all students. #teachertips