The Ritenour School District in the St. Louis area is creating an International Welcome Center for English language learners, in response to a recent influx of international students from Central America. Two classrooms serve as a center for middle and high school students who receive intensive language services.
Webster University’s School of Education has received a $2.7 million federal grant to certify 120 teachers to teach English language learners. The three districts who will receive training over the next five years are St. Louis City, Ritenour, and Parkway. Previously, the three districts combined had only 90 teachers certified to teach English as a second language. Yet, there are thousands of English language learners, with significant increases in the past year.
“We know that due to the rich diversity in our region, there is a need for qualified teachers in English as a second language,” said Elizabeth Stroble, president of Webster University. “This grant allows Webster University and our partners to assure that English Learners develop the skills they need to be successful.”
In addition, Webster University partnered with the International Institute of St. Louis and St. Louis Mosaic Project on the grant.