ENL/Migrant Education discussed at Plymouth

PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth School Board heard a report on ENL (English as a Native Language)/ Migrant Education Thursday.
Presenting the information was Jeni Hirschy who serves as the assistant principal at Riverside and also heads up the ENL/Migrant programs within the corporation.
Hirschy said funding for the programs has been drastically reduced. Although some funding comes from the General Fund, three grants also contribute to the programming costs. In the 2009-10 school year, $611,510.63 was used for the educational programming. That figure has been reduced to $240,313.70 for the current school year.
Hirschy said funding from Title I was the largest, but could only be used for the smallest number of children.
Hirschy said they were able to offer instruction during the summer at a cost of $196,928.99. The summer school program consisted of 19 days in the classroom, a reading program at the Plymouth Public Library, Camp Discovery, kindergarten readiness classes, adult education, and parent nights. Since the majority of the families with children involved were staying at a local hotel, the schools provided a mobile classroom onsite. Students from surrounding migrant camps were also able to access the summer programming in Plymouth.
Currently, each school in the corporation has ENL students as follows: Jefferson, 34; Menominee, 64; Washington, 103; Webster, 44; Riverside, 97; Lincoln Junior High, 84; and Plymouth High School, 128.
Due in part to a decrease in funding from the state, the Plymouth Schools, as did other schools in the state, had to make cuts in services. Hirschy said they were able to retain ENL teachers at the secondary levels and only have aides at the elementary schools. According to Hirschy, there is a large number of kindergarten aged children with no English language skills who are enrolled.
She added, “There is also a lot of paperwork that goes with this program.”