Brittany Hawkins
EL Specialist
Staff
662.449.7225
@twitterhandle

About the Teacher/Welcome Msg

Department of English Learners: EL Instructional Specialist 

From the fields of communication and public relations to education and instruction, I am thankful to combine my career experience into the position of Instructional Specialist for all middle and high school English Learners. My name is Brittany Hawkins, and I am thrilled you have found your way to our EL team page. We aspire to equip you with helpful information you will find beneficial both in and out of the DeSoto County Schools classroom.

Before becoming a specialist, I served as a high school English literature and public speaking teacher. I earned my bachelors in Communication from Mississippi State University and obtained my masters degree from Belhaven University. I have endorsements for grades 7-12 in English, Speech Communication, Marketing, and English as a Second Language. 

After graduating from MSU, I worked as a Public Relations Coordinator for the largest advertising/public relations agency in Florida. I also served as the Public Relations Specialist for Baptist Memorial Health Care at the corporate office in Memphis before coming to the field of education. Through effective communication, encouragement, and steadfast research on best instructional strategies for teachers, I am happy to work with educators across the district to implement effective ways to help English Learners. What works for EL students is great for all students. As we share this immense responsibility, we hope to also cheer each other on along the way.

I look forward to helping you with anything you need regarding secondary EL instruction.

Feel free to contact me anytime,

Brittany Hawkins

#KnowEveryChildGrowEveryChild
#OneFamilyOneFocus
#bealighthouse
#RaiseTheBarAgain
#TeamDCS
#ELinAction
#theELexperience

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

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Translation Services

Help Translating and Interpreting 

Liliana Rangel is our Spanish interpreter/translator for DeSoto County Schools. Ms. Rangel is available to come to your campus to serve as an interpreter in meetings between the school and parents. She can also translate written documents from English into Spanish if they are resources the entire district can use. To request translation services, you will follow procedures outlined on her district page. There are electronic forms to complete in order to coordinate your needs with Ms. Rangel's availability. She is one person serving all 42 schools, and we are thankful to have her on our English Learners team!

Ms. Rangel is an energetic and encouraging professional and is always eager to help, but be sure to give yourself plenty of time to coordinate meetings with her since she is often interpreting at various campuses across the district. 

If you have an educational need that needs a quick turnaround, Google Translate and the Microsoft Translator App are such beneficial tools. If you need to email a parent or even communicate with students while in your classroom, these are easy and effective to use.

Best contact information for Ms. Rangel: 
Email address is liliana.rangel@dcsms.org
or call 662- 449-7282 along with her district website

Links for Teachers:

USDE Newcomer Toolkit 
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/newcomers-toolkit/index.html 

Colorin Colorado Resource 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/ 

USDE English Learner Toolkit 
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/english-learner-toolkit/index.html 

National Clearinghouse for ELs 
https://ncela.ed.gov/ 

TESOL International Association 
http://www.tesol.org/ 

EL and ESSA 
https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/essatitleiiiguidenglishlearners92016.pdf 

USDE Office of English Language Acquisition 
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/index.html 

Schools' Civil Rights Obligation 
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ellresources.html 

Teaching ELs is Complex 
https://www.edutopia.org/article/teaching-english-language-learners-complex-endeavor 

Ignite Passion for Reading 
https://www.edutopia.org/article/putting-end-fake-reading 

Supporting SIFE Students 
https://www.edutopia.org/article/supporting-students-interrupted-educations 

Activate Prior Knowledge 
https://www.edutopia.org/article/activating-prior-knowledge-english-language-learners 

EL Strategies and Best Practices 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/ell-strategies-best-practices 

Make the Class wELLcoming 
https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/welcome-ells/ 

Equity for EL Students 
https://www.edutopia.org/blog/equity-for-english-language-learners-rusul-alrubail?utm_medium=socialflow&utm_source=twitter 

Social vs Academic Language 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/what-difference-between-social-and-academic-english?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Hootsuite&utm_campaign=CCSocialMedia 

New to Teaching ELLs? 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/new-teaching-ells 

Language Acquisition 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/language-acquisition 

Teaching Cognates 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/using-cognates-ells 

Literacy Instruction 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/literacy-instruction-ells 

Increasing Reading Comprehension 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/increasing-ell-student-reading-comprehension-non-fiction-text 

Math for ELLs 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/blog/common-core-math-english-language-learners 

Academic Languages and ELs 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/academic-language-and-ells-what-teachers-need-know 

Project-Based Learning and ELs 
https://www.fluentu.com/blog/educator-english/project-based-learning-esl/ 

Assessing Student Learning 
https://www.edutopia.org/article/assessing-learning-without-test?utm_medium=socialflow&utm_source=twitter 

ESL Classroom Games 
http://esl-kids.com/eslgames/eslgames.html 

Links for Parents:

US Dept of Education Spanish resources 
https://www2.ed.gov/espanol/bienvenidos/es/index.html 

Read in Home Language 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/why-reading-your-kids-your-home-language-will-help-them-become-better-readers 

Colorin Colorado 
http://www.colorincolorado.org/families 

MAP Fact Sheet in Spanish 
http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/student-assessment/map-fact-sheet-spanish_20160422121245_296595_20160422121835_655270.pdf?sfvrsn=2 

USDE Helping Your Child series 
https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/hyc.html 

More Resources in Other Languages 
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ellresources.html 

Glossaries 
https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/metrocenter/resources/glossaries 

Schools' Civil Rights Obligation 
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ellresources.html 

For New Immigrants 
https://www.uscis.gov/tools/settling-us/welcome-united-states