The Montevideo Middle School was recently recognized in August for its outstanding excellence in its Progress Towards Language Proficiency by the state of Minnesota.

The Montevideo Middle School was recently recognized in August  for its outstanding excellence in its Progress Towards Language Proficiency by the state of Minnesota.

The school was recognized for being within the highest 5 percent in the state for progress with English Language Learners (ELL) students, as measured by the ACCESS test. The test is given annually to the students who qualify as ELL. It measures reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Each year, all ELL students have individual targets on the test, based on variables such as age, as well as the amount of time they have been enrolled as an ELL student.

The English language is one of the most difficult languages for non-native speakers to learn, on par with Finnish, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, and others, depending on the individual.

“The state uses the average progress toward target, which is the average amount of progress ELLs made toward their target,” said Shawn Huntley, principal of Montevideo Middle School.

“For example, an average progress toward target of 75 would mean that ELLs, on average, made it 75 percent of the way to their targets. The Montevideo Middle School had a 93.4 percent average progress toward target. The state average is 67 percent average progress toward target. Additionally, MMS had 86.7 percent of our ELLs meet their target, compared to the state average of about 48.5 percent.”

Jessica Carbo is the teacher of the ESL program at the middle school, and their licensed ELL teacher.

“Jessica Carbo is our ELL teacher and this is her third year here at the middle school,” said Huntley. “She is a top-tier educator who cares about her students’ successes. Our ELL program has blossomed since her arrival and she is driven to providing the best education possible each and every day.

“Mrs. Carbo uses a vast array of strategies to teach her students, but her most impressive teaching method is how she uses technology. Virtual reality field trips to develop background knowledge and vocabulary is just one way she uses technology embedded in her instruction.”

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