Focus School Group: Qatar Foundation Schools
Each month we ask a member school to share their WIDA story. This month the Qatar Foundation shares their story, not as a single school but as a group of schools working together to coordinate and amplify the good work of their member schools.
Submitted by: Stephanie Drynan — EAL and Dual Language Coordinator and Jeff Coleman, Principal at The Learning Center, Qatar Foundation Schools
In Qatar Foundation Schools’ EAL-rich environment it is essential that we support students with language needs by providing teachers and faculty with the best tool possible. Serving a large family of schools with very different profiles and needs, we needed a tool that would serve our district, but be flexible and adaptable to the particular culture of each of our unique school buildings. We began expanding the use of the WIDA Standards Framework through hosting a WIDA Institute in 2017. As our use and understanding of the WIDA MODEL, the WIDA English Language Development Standards, and the Can Do Descriptors became more sophisticated, Qatar Foundation Schools began sending staff to additional learning opportunities with WIDA.
Each of the K-12 schools uses the WIDA MODEL in its own way and at their own pace. Over the last three years our use of WIDA MODEL has shifted from a single school using WIDA MODEL to nearly all of our schools using WIDA to assess English language proficiency of students. Teachers, interventionists and coaches use the Can Do Descriptors to design scaffolds for lessons, and integrate targeted and appropriate language support.