A new Shelbyville Central Schools team is highlighting
multilingualism as an asset and an advanced skill. It’s
an effort geared at supporting the growing number of
English Language Learners (ELL). At Hendricks
Elementary, 7.5% of students are currently ELL, up
from 6% in 2019. The Multilingual Learner (MLL)
Specialists team, which includes Hendricks’ Lindsay
Kalkhoff, sets goals and creates the action plan.
“Our team is made of people working together toward
the same initiatives, goals, and passions,” Kalkhoff said.
Her efforts are supported by English Language
Assistant Imelda Joseph. “Imelda and I team up with
one teacher in each grade level that is specialized and
focused on sheltering instruction across all subject
areas and committed to being culturally responsive in
every way possible, both surface culture and deep
culture,” Kalkhoff said.
Cluster teachers, a concept brought to Hendricks by
Assistant Principal Colleen Fosnight, are Amy Cory,
kindergarten; Chelsea Dourson, 1st grade; Nicole
Terrell, 2nd grade; Kristi Richards, 3rd grade; Lisa
Kiefer, 4th grade; and Jacob Hamblen, 5th grade. All
teachers are empowered to use Talking Points, Class
Dojo translator and Google Docs translation, and to
utilize bilingual staff whenever necessary.
“Having cluster teachers who are committed to this
initiative has been highly beneficial, and our data is
showing growth in language acquisition and exits from
the MLL program,” Kalkhoff said.
Outside the classroom, Hendricks staff make
intentional connections to families. Family Night and an
Elementary Culture Fair, originally started by EL
Elementary Department Chair Kayla Gaddie and set for
March 10, 2022, 6 - 7:30 p.m. in the Hendricks gym, are
just two of the successful programs.
“We conducted a survey of our Hendricks MLL families
and discovered that families were requesting the ability
to share their cultures and wished to educate others,”
Kalkhoff said. “Although the invitation to the Culture
Fair - as a guest and presenter - was always
elementary-wide, my hope is that Hurricane families
feel more empowered to engage in sharing at the fair
and all Hendricks families feel more inclined to
participate in the experience.”