Oregon District Provides Student Equity and Invests in ELL Students
Beaverton School District in Beaverton, OR, is home to 5,000 English language learners (ELLs), spread across 54 schools and speaking more than 95 different languages. While many students speak Spanish as a second language, Arabic, and Japanese round out the top three.
As a Future Ready district, Beaverton is constantly searching for new ways to use technology to bridge the gap between a student’s native language and English. The Beaverton School District is committed to equitable outcomes for all students, including ELLs. Investing in ELLs is a moral imperative and it is something Beaverton will continue to do until they improve academic outcomes for these students.
“We witnessed the power of the Redcat audio system at a nearby district, then dug into the research, which proves that hearing clearly articulated speech is critical to acquiring a new language,” explained Toshiko Maurizio, administrator for multilingual programs for the Beaverton district. Maurizio visited Lightspeed at a local conference, and quickly started the pilot process. In 2016, after an extremely successful pilot, Beaverton invested in more than 100 Redcat systems to guarantee voice clarity and clear language modeling in every ELL classroom in the district.
“We encourage our educators to be innovative, and to weave technology elements into their daily lessons,” said Maurizio. “Many of our teachers use the Redcats on a daily basis with newcomer students to amplify their natural voices, providing equity to all students and assuring clear language modeling, which is fundamental during a student’s time of being in a new country and environment.”
Beaverton also uses the Redcat for staff meetings and presentations as well. “Staff from Asian and former Soviet countries loved using it when they were doing their cultural presentations, as they always had a hard time projecting their voices,” said Maurizio. “They were shy and timid, and the Redcat helped them open up.”
Thanks to the Redcat, ELLs of all ages can hear and be heard. Students have an easier time understanding and following instructions, and are able to hear a clear modeling of the language.