BBC Features a School for Newcomers in New York City

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 30, 2009 1 min read
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For the fourth time this school year, the ELLIS Preparatory Academy in the Bronx, a high school for English-language learners who arrive in the United States as teenagers, is being featured by a news organization. The BBC published an article about the high school, which opened this school year and has 85 students, over the weekend. (Hat tip to GothamSchools.)

The school enrolls a lot of students who are categorized as “Students with Interrupted Formal Education,” or SIFE. (I last wrote about SIFE students in New York City in February).

I visited the ELLIS Preparatory Academy in the fall, while reporting for Quality Counts 2009. That report included profiles of students from the school, such as Morry Bamba, now 18, who hadn’t ever been to school when he moved to New York City at age 15.

Other news organizations that have written about ELLIS Prep this school year are the Riverdale Press and the New York Times.

I hope that the attention paid to this school by news media has helped raise awareness of the challenges schools face in teaching ELLs who have missed a lot of school in their home countries. Such students are a growing population of ELLs in New York City, and I expect, in other communities as well.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.