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Instructional Program Options for Parents of English Learners

At Montebello Unified School District, we strive to offer all our students a quality, balanced instructional program. In this way, we are preparing our students for the future, so they will have the skills to be successful in their many roles. For our English learners, we offer four program options from which parents/guardians may choose. The four program options represent the many ways we are supporting our English learners, and are described below.

Bilingual Program Option

In this option, the student develops primary language literacy, and is taught the core curriculum (Math, Science, Social Science, etc.) in his/her primary language, all the while acquiring English through daily, formal lessons in English Language Development (ELD). He/she is usually grouped with other English learners of the same grade level who have the same primary language. The student will formally transition into English literacy and core curriculum instruction in English, when he/she exhibits cognitive proficiency in his/her primary language, as evidenced by mastery of MUSD's Transition Criteria, and when he/she has reached the Intermediate Fluency level in English Acquisition.

Each English learner receives a daily program of English Language Development, along with instruction in the core curriculum delivered either through primary language or Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE), depending on the student's proficiency in English and his/her primary language. Some SDAIE strategies that make the instruction understandable for the students are: grouping the students: using charts, pictures, and real objects: using gestures and facial expressions; and using strategies to develop literacy in the core curriculum. In addition, students are sometimes placed in mainstream English core curriculum if their English proficiency level is intermediate or advanced. Self-image and cross-cultural instruction is integrated throughout the subject areas.

Dual Language Enrichment Program

In this option students develop fluency and literacy in two languages: Spanish and English. They achieve proficiency in all academic subjects, meeting or exceeding District guide­lines. They cultivate an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, and develop positive attitudes toward fellow students, their families and their community.

The Dual Language Enrichment Program is a rigorous academic program in which the target language (Spanish) is used as the vehicle of instruction, not the focus. Monthly thematic units integrate the curriculum, make the target language more meaningful to the student and provide the student with enough exposure to practice, use and extend his/her vocabulary.

Structured English Immersion Program Option

In this option, the student develops second language literacy in English, and is taught the core curriculum in English, in addition to daily, formal lessons in ELD. Primary language support may be provided by the teacher, and/or through the use of paraeducators, peer tutors, parent volunteers, instructional materials, etc.

The student is grouped with other English learners. He/she may be grouped with students from other grade levels and other primary languages who have the same English proficiency levels. Whenever possible, the student will be grouped with other students of the same grade level, in order to give the students access to grade-level core curriculum. Instruction in the core curriculum utilizes SDAIE strategies and techniques.

Each English learner receives a daily program of English Language Development. Self­image and cross-cultural instruction is integrated throughout the subject areas.

Mainstream English Program Option

In this option, the student develops second language literacy in English, and is taught the core curriculum in English. He/she is grouped with English Only students, Fluent English Proficient students, and other English learners. Instruction in the core curriculum utilizes SDAIE strategies and techniques that make the instruction understandable for the students.

If the student's level of English acquisition necessitates, his/her English is also developed in daily formal lessons in English Language Development. Self-image and cross-cultural instruction is integrated throughout the subject areas. 

New Teacher Support Program

Montebello Unified School District is committed to providing qualified, competent and caring professionals for every classroom. Support to newly hired teachers is a very high District priority. The District offers a variety of professional development programs to address the unique needs and strengths of beginning teachers.

The Montebello Unified School District's Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Induction Program is the pathway to receive a Professional Clear Credential. Teachers who have received a SB 2042 Preliminary Credential participate in the Montebello Unified School District BTSA Induction Program, which provides advanced coursework and individual guidance for first and second year teachers. The Program is organized around the content standards, the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP), and the Induction Standards. Opportunities to observe exemplary teachers in action, plan instruction, practice strategies and dialogue about ways to improve practice, are all elements of the BTSA Induction Program.

Montebello Unified School District and several local universities collaborate to provide a variety of Intern programs for eligible teachers completing their teacher preparation programs.

All teachers new to the District attend a New Teacher Orientation in the summer. At this orientation teachers learn the District goals, grade level curriculum, and effective instructional practices.

Please contact the BTSA Induction Program staff, at (323) 887-7900, extension 2307, for questions or to register for program opportunities.

Special Education Program

The Special Education Program provides specially designed instruction that meets the unique needs of the child with a disability at no additional cost to parents. The Special Education Department is a member of the Instructional Services Division of the Montebello Unified School District . Special Education services provide access and participation for students in the General Education curriculum and programs, whenever possible. The District is a member of the Downey/Montebello Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). As a member of the SELPA, the Montebello Unified School District provides the full range of Special Education services and early intervention strategies to our students in the least restrictive environment.

The District Special Education Department is staffed with a Director, four Program Specialists and one Teacher on Special Assignment. The administrative staff works closely with a support staff of twenty-one School Psychologists, twenty-three Speech/Language Specialists, and eight Adapted Physical Education teachers to ensure a multidisciplinary team approach to assessment and the delivery of services to our students.

We have a well-established Workability Program and a Transition Partnership Program that provide employment and transition services to our students. The Coordinator and Case Managers work in collaboration with the Regional Occupational Program, the Work Incentive Act Program, and with community/educational organizations, to meet the transition needs of our students.

The Montebello Unified School District currently employs sixty Resource Specialist Program teachers, and fifty-two Special Day Class Teachers providing direct instruction in the least restrictive environment. All service providers work toward preparing our students for further education and training, employment, and/or independent living.

For more information regarding the Special Education Department, please contact the Director of Special Education, at (323) 887-7900 extension 2585.