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CPS Expands English Language Tutoring Program

(Chicago Tonight)(Chicago Tonight)

Chicago Public Schools announced Tuesday it will expand its after-school tutoring program to thousands of students this school year thanks to a federal grant dedicated to boosting English proficiency.

The district’s Office of Language and Cultural Education will add 51 new schools to its after school English language tutoring program, adding approximately 2,000 new students to the program.

“CPS celebrates the rich cultures and backgrounds that our students bring to their schools, and we believe it is critical to equip students to become proficient in multiple languages,” CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson said in a press release. “By expanding the tutoring for English learners, we are helping elementary and middle school students build the confidence, skills, and proficiency needed to succeed in high school, college and their careers.”

Last year the 20-week program included 73 schools and about 2,200 students in grades two through eight. Overall, about 17 percent of the district’s 380,000-plus students are identified as English language learners.

CPS says the tutoring was developed to supplement regular classroom learning and has helped participating students grow in rates of attendance – which surpassed the overall district average at nearly 95 percent last year – and on-track percentage – which has improved by more than 6 points since 2014.

Schools within the program are able to enroll up to 60 students, who will then be taught by bilingual and English as a second language endorsed teachers who already work within each school.

“CPS believes it is critical to use resources wisely so we can provide the necessary training, support and resources to educators and principals to improve the academic outcomes of our English Language Learners,” CPS Office of Language and Cultural Education Jorge Macias said in a press release. “Through the expansion, we have nearly doubled our reach in just one school year, helping students across the city reach their full academic potential and excel in all aspects of their education.”

Throughout this year, CPS says it has worked to better support English language learners, expanding its dual language programming.

The tutoring program, which costs approximately $675,000 for the current school year, is funded fully through federal dollars that are specifically targeted to support English language learners and restricted to bilingual students only. 

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