Focus school: International School of Latvia
Read about International School of Latvia and its staff’s journey implementing WIDA resources and assessments while celebrating student learning.
The International School of Latvia was founded in 1992 as an independent, non-profit, college preparatory day school. Since our original inception with a student body of 35, we have grown to serve more than 400 students in grades Preschool 3 through 12. We have offered the full International Baccalaureate program since 2004. Located just outside Riga in Pinki, Latvia, our school community is composed of students and staff representing more than 40 nationalities.
We joined the WIDA International Consortium in Spring 2020. Our decision to join was the result of careful consideration of our school’s strategic plan and our need for resources that supported the language development of multilingual learners. With a wealth of research about best practices in language acquisition, assessments, standards and professional development opportunities, WIDA offered us a centralized support system for multilingual students and their teachers.
With encouragement from leadership, our team of five EAL teachers immediately began taking advantage of the learning opportunities that WIDA presented. In addition to MODEL training webinars and some of the deep dive webinars, we took part in the virtual collaboration course: Stretching Your Co-Teaching with Andrea Honigsfeld and Jon Nordmeyer in fall 2020. This course, along with the release of the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition, jump-started our move towards a co-teaching model of service delivery. Our elementary EAL specialists worked with K-2 and grades 3-5 teachers respectively to support students using primarily team, station and circuit teaching models during literacy and unit of inquiry blocks in the elementary schedule.