ENLACE Events

Students playing team-building game outside

ENLACE students were outside last week doing some team-building activities as part of their new Yoga & Wellness class launched this year. Designed and led by ENLACE teacher and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Lead, Samantha Curtis, the Yoga & Wellness class is one component of ENLACE's SEL initiatives. For the past two years, Ms. Curtis has applied for and received an SEL Innovation Award for Teachers. This award is a partnership between the NoVo Foundation, Education First and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors with the goal of supporting the spread of innovative social and emotional learning (SEL) practices in schools and districts nationwide. They received over 1,000 applications from more than 45 states, and only 12% of applicants were accepted. This award will provide Ms. Curtis and the ENLACE team with a $5,000 grant to build on the foundation of SEL practices started last year. It will help fund teacher stipends to form an SEL Committee that will strengthen ENLACE’s advisory curriculum and restorative justice practices and continue integrating SEL competencies into academics, purchase materials for the new Yoga & Wellness course, and establish a partnership with Panorama Education in order to conduct student surveys and gather data on social-emotional growth and development.

Students debate at Model UN

On June 4th and 5th, first-year ENLACE students traveled to UMass Lowell to participate in their final Model United Nations simulation of the school year, which is the culmination of a full semester's work in their World Studies class and a partnership with the United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNAGB). The second semester of the ENLACE World Studies curriculum is built around Model UN. With the support of their teachers Mr. Donahue and Mr. Casey, students researched their countries, studied global issues, wrote speeches, and learned debate techniques as they prepared to tackle pressing issues as world leaders, including global pandemic response and climate change. For their final simulation of the year, they were hosted by Jason Carter - political science professor and Model UN faculty advisory at UMass Lowell. They got to debate in college classrooms and took a tour of the campus.

Screenshot of Teaching Channel video

This spring, videos of ENLACE classrooms were featured on The Teaching Channel. A camera crew from The Teaching Channel visited ENLACE last May to film classes as part of their “ELL Deep Dive” project, which features examples from schools across the country that are providing strong instructional supports for English Learners. The videos were released in two sets along with an accompanying blog post for each. 

 

The first set of videos focuses on how ENLACE teaches academic language to newcomers through engaging, rigorous content. It features the Leadership Seminar of US History Teacher Matt Clements and a World Studies classroom where students are preparing for a Model United Nations simulation on climate change. You can read the blog post, "Engaging Newcomers in Language & Content," and see the videos here.

 

The second set of videos focuses on how ENLACE builds a strong learning community for ELLs and a collaborative professional community for teachers. It features the Algebra 1 classroom of Keila Colon, an instructional coaching cycle with Ms. Colon and principal Allison Balter, and a cohort-wide Community Circle, where students presented their work to a packed room of peers and teachers. You can read the blog post, "Building a Strong Learning Community for Newcomer ELLs," and see the videos here.

 

Teachers at Teach to Lead Summit

Over the last weekend in April, a team from ENLACE attended the Teach to Lead Summit in Nashville, Tennessee.  There, the team worked on an initiative to use socio-emotional learning (SEL) strategies to better support English Learners and SLIFE students as they transition out of their Newcomer program and into other programs across the campus.  The Teach to Lead Summit is a collaboration between ASCD and the U.S. Department of Education that empowers teachers to use their work in the classroom to innovate and advocate for broader change in education.  In addition to spotlighting the initiatives of Teacher Leaders from across the nation, the Summit partners school-based teams with outside organizations to support their work. ENLACE’s team, which included Algebra teachers Samantha Curtis and Keila Colon, US History teacher Matt Clements, principal Allison Balter, and LHS EL Facilitator Laurie Hartwick, partnered with Hope Street Group Fellow Dana Siegel.  The team is excited to partner with other teachers across campus and to share what they learned about SEL to support Newcomers adjust and integrate into Lawrence High.

ENLACE students and teachers with Mayor Rivera at Delamano dinner

On Thursday, March 8th, ENLACE students who are members of the "Mujeres Unidas" girls' group attended the Delamano International Women's Day Dinner at the Andover Country Club along with their faculty advisors. This dinner honored an International Woman of the Year, and the ENLACE students were invited as guests of the organization. They had a wonderful time dressing up, attending the event, and celebrating strong women!