E.L. Achieve founders Susana Dutro and Michelle Thelander share a professional passion for assisting educators in equipping English learners for academic achievement. In 2005, they established an organization dedicated to that mission. Over the years, the E.L. Achieve team has grown and now works in partnership with over a hundred partner school districts nationally.
E.L. Achieve distinguishes itself from other professional development and consulting organizations by taking a system-wide approach. The organization was built on the belief that in order to increase English learner achievement, all levels of the system have an important role. District leaders, site principals, and classroom teachers must work together and be supported in gaining the skills, knowledge, and tools to be solidly prepared to do the work. These supports provide districts with ongoing implementation to ensure sustainable English learner academic achievement.
This capacity-building approach is carefully designed to help every educator in the system succeed. E.L. Achieve helps build a solid vision of instruction so district leaders can gain new skills and strengthen what’s already working.
This model is not a quick fix. It moves beyond traditional professional development and requires a willingness to engage in sustained work.
Throughout their work with districts, the E.L. Achieve team consistently asks both specific and big-picture questions: What do English learners need to achieve academically? What do teachers need to provide effective instruction for English learners? What do school leaders need to organize their time and resources to carry out implementation? As a result of this focus on meeting unmet needs, E.L. Achieve has developed innovative, research-based solutions.
Professional development addresses two key areas: Systematic ELD for dedicated language instruction and Constructing Meaning for explicit language instruction for content learning. Each contains an elementary and a secondary focus that includes institutes and leadership seminars as well as high-quality instructional materials published by E.L. Achieve.
E.L. Achieve cultivates the development of district leadership by training and certifying leaders with the expectation that districts will take charge of their own initiatives. Following certification, leaders enjoy ongoing learning via E.L. Achieve’s broad network of experts from across the country. In addition, E.L. Achieve provides customized coaching and implementation services.
The E.L. Achieve team is prepared and committed to serving those districts focused on closing the achievement gap for English learners.
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