Focus School: Singapore American School
Read about one of the host schools for the upcoming workshop Stretching Your Co-Teaching: Collaborating with WIDA, Singapore American School, and its staff’s journey as they implement WIDA resources and assessments while celebrating student learning.
Singapore American School (SAS) is a non-profit, independent school serving over 4,200 students in preschool through high school. The SAS student body is made up of over 65 nationalities, with over half of the students being U.S. citizens. This diverse school community also brings great linguistic richness with over 50 different languages spoken. Beyond the statistics, SAS has made a commitment to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our community to ensure that every student feels valued and included. When our leaders and teachers were exploring ways to make this commitment a reality for our multilingual learners, we turned to WIDA tools and resources to help guide our conversations and decision-making processes.
How WIDA resources have impacted student learning.
During the 2021-2022 school year, our team conducted a review of the English learning program using WIDA tools and resources as the foundation for the process. Through the review, we wanted to gain a deeper understanding of English language instruction at SAS — so we sought input from many of the people who work with our multilingual learners on a daily basis. The review team was made up of English as an additional language (EAL) teachers, classroom teachers, instructional assistants, coaches and school leaders, each bringing different experiences, knowledge and perspectives of language instruction. The WIDA Guiding Principles of Language Development led team members to clarify their own understanding of how children learn language and helped us to establish clear priorities for the things we wanted to change in our program. During the team meetings, classroom teachers and EAL teachers explored the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition, and classroom teachers commented that the 2020 Edition helped them to elaborate upon the Common Core State Standards. They were also appreciative that we were using an external set of standards as a guide to develop our practices.