New Affiliate Advocates for ELL

Sep 17, 2019 by User Not Found


MONTGOMERY, ALA (September 17, 2019)
– Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools is pleased to announce the launch of a new affiliate, Alabama Leaders Advocating for English Learners (ALA-EL). ALA-EL is a state association committed to bringing awareness to the needs of English Language Learners; and advancing instruction, funding, and professional learning for Alabama K-12 students, educators, and administrators.

ALA-EL was established in June 2019. The organization was formed due to the tremendous increase in the number of Alabama students needing English Language Learner (ELL) services. In previous years, there had been little emphasis placed on ELL instruction, funding, or professional development. Now the voices of ELL educators and students are being heard by the Alabama State Department of Education and Alabama lawmakers.

Heath Grimes, president of ALA-EL and superintendent of Russellville City Schools, stated: “There have been some really positive changes regarding ELL in our state over the last year and we are proud to have had a small part in that.  ELL instruction is important for all students and for our state.  If we are going to move the needle for our students in Alabama, we have to move all students.”

“Making an Impact” is the theme for ALA-EL inaugural conference scheduled for January 9, 2020. The conference is designed for K-12 administrators whose primary job responsibility is working with students who are English Learners or classroom teachers with English Learners and in need of information to meet students’ needs. Presenters are leaders well-versed in the area of EL and include Tery Medina, Heidi Goertzen, Dr. Susan Spezzini, Dr. Elisabeth Davis, and Alabama’s Teacher of the Year, Ana Carol Behel. Visit to learn more.

About CLAS: CLAS, the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools was founded in 1969 by a small group of school leaders to provide targeted professional development and support for Alabama’s public-school administrators.  CLAS now serves eleven affiliates representing each type of public school/school system leader.  CLAS provides the framework to connect dedicated school administrators and other successful leaders with a network for professional growth and support. Headquartered in Montgomery, AL, CLAS is the foremost professional learning provider for administrators of public schools in the state of Alabama.

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