To help familiarize them with the school district and its programs, the Islip School District hosted a parent orientation for its English Language Learners at the high school on the evening of Oct. 22. Islip currently has students who speak 19 different languages, up from 17 last year. with 82 percent Spanish-speaking.
Priscilla Zarate, the district’s ENL and world language coordinator, welcomed parents and students to the meeting. Zarate presented information on the district’s academic offerings, programs and services available to ELL students, based on New York State Department of Education regulations.
Following the presentation, parents and students were invited to the cafeteria, where they could visit with different school and community informational tables. The district’s Parent Teacher Associations, Islip Public Library, Long Island Immigrant Student Advocates, APAC International Culinary Arts Academy and school nutrition representatives were available to meet with parents and answer questions. Students had the opportunity to visit different stations with books, coloring, Legos and hands-on robotics. Each student went home with a backpack filled with books and school supplies. Parents were also able to meet with ENL teachers from across the district and learn about the specifics of each building during a breakout session later in the evening. The high school’s World Language Honor Society students were on hand to work with the students in the cafeteria while parents visited with teachers in the classrooms.