Emerging Multilingual Learners (EML, often called “English Learners”) and students from immigrant families are the fastest-growing student group in Minnesota, totaling 73,919 students in the 2018-19 school year (more than 8% of all public-school enrollments).
As we begin the new school year, it’s essential that our schools and districts promote equitable practices that support our EML students and their families, and ensure Minnesota advances race equity and education excellence for all students.
We must create education spaces that not only support, but also celebrate and honor the linguistic diversity and richness of culture that our children bring into our schools each and every day. History matters. Equity matters. Justice matters. And, language matters.
To ensure EML families have the information they need to make well-informed decisions about their child or children’s learning during the school year, the MnEEP EML Network has outlined steps to improve school-based and district-level communications with EML families.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need to continue working to improve the ways that educational institutions and systems communicate with and support EML families and students. It is MnEEP’s hope that schools and districts will employ these recommendations, with support from MDE.
While it is imperative to implement the following best practices in communications during the 2020-21 school year, these multi-pronged approaches for communicating with EMLs should be implemented well beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic.