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Project BRIDGE

Office of Sponsored Programs
E230 Thompson Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
Ph: (716) 673-3528

Project BRIDGE StaffProject BRIDGE (Bringing Resources that Incorporate Development in General Education) is a five year (2007-2012) US Department of Education Grant awarded to Fredonia for the purpose of enhancing instruction for middle and high school English language learners/Limited English Proficient (ELL/LEP) students. Project BRIDGE accomplishes this end goal via a three pronged approach providing training and support in specific, research based strategies, shown to enhance academic content achievement and academic English language learning for ELL/LEP students. Our three target groups include classroom teachers in three specific districts, Fredonia faculty, and Education Administrators. Project BRIDGE was written in consultation with representatives from each of our target groups.

The components of Project BRIDGE:

  • Middle and High School content area teachers in the Jamestown, Dunkirk and Lackawanna school districts. These districts were selected to participate because of the high number of English language learners in mainstream, content area courses
  • Long-term, intensive training provided throughout the year, accompanied by individual coaching. Teachers learn specific educational strategies proven beneficial to ELL/LEP students as well as gain an understanding of second language acquisition and academic content and language supports
  • Participation is limited to middle and high school teachers, with administration recommendation, in these 3 districts
  • Cohorts may be made up of teachers in the following areas: English, sciences, math, social studies as well as teachers in the following support areas: special education, reading & literacy, and languages other than English
  • Goal: 9 -10 teachers annually per district, 45-50 teachers per district over 5 years to build capacity. Each year we will train a new cohort
  • SUNY Fredonia faculty in all content areas (see above list) that touch Adolescent Teacher Education Candidates, and methods faculty
  • Faculty are invited to attend a specialized training and then submit an award proposal detailing how they will infuse a new or existing course with newly learned strategies
  • Proposals are reviewed by committee and implementation awards are granted based on depth of proposals and appropriateness to grant objectives
  • Education Administration Candidates
  • School Administrators can be teachers' and students best advocates and do this best when they are aware of the issues and needs of their populations. Project BRIDGE strives to enhance current and pre-service administrators knowledge of the needs of English language learners and support strategies for both students and their teachers to maximize student outcomes

Program: Project BRIDGE Lackawanna Training

  • BRIDGE provides intensive professional development training consisting of SIOP, adolescent development, and evidence-based instructional practices to enhance instruction for English language learners. Participants have the opportunity to modify lesson/action plans for the coming year. Follow-up training and coaching is provided.
  • In addition to providing training, we collect baseline data via surveys and non-evaluative observations conducted each spring, with follow-up surveys and observations the following spring, as well as accessing pupil performance and Teacher Candidate performance data.

Participant Commitment:

  • Attend all trainings and submit all requested data
  • Complete and submit participant surveys promptly, pre- and post- training
  • Infuse your instructional practices with learned strategies
  • Contact us with any questions regarding implementation
  • Complete consumer satisfaction evaluations

Project BRIDGE Staff:
Cynthia Jonsson, Director, Project ELA/BRIDGE,
Raisa Portman, Project ELA/BRIDGE Coordinator,
Karene Gora, Project ELA/BRIDGE Secretary,
Korrin Mundo, Project ELA/BRIDGE Secretary,

Three levels of participants will be involved in this project:

  1. Fredonia faculty and Graduate Interns involved in content area programs- 13 served each year; 65 served by the end of the project
  2. Educational Administrators- 13 served each year; 65 served by the end of the project
  3. Partner School District Middle and High School Content Area Teachers- 30 served each year; 150 served by the end of the project

Partners: Dunkirk City School District, Jamestown City School District, and Lackawanna City School District

Project Description: Project BRIDGE represents a collaborative effort of urban schools and an institution of higher education to directly address the education of English Language Learners (ELLs) in regular education content area classes. Three districts in western New York State (Dunkirk, Jamestown and Lackawanna) and Fredonia have joined forces to combat low performance ELLs in grades 6 through 12 through a three- tiered model that focuses on the use of evidence-based instructional practices, understanding of adolescent development, and awareness of the sociocultural factors that affect learning, and their direct impact on these students.

Project BRDIGE will employ ongoing intensive professional development strategies for teaching ELLs, with evidence-based instruction taught via modeling, coaching, and problem solving. In addition, the selection of appropriate content materials and use of assessment to guide instruction will be targeted topics in the professional development sessions. Improvement of teaching ELLs and gains in the academic performances of ELLs will result from professional development in three tiers: training of teacher candidates, district administrators, and content area classroom teachers from our three partner school districts.

Faculty involved in Fredonia's content area teacher preparation programs will be mentored in implementation of evidence-based instructional strategies for ELLs in their courses. Content area teacher candidates will employ evidence-based practices in their field experiences and provide a report (Teaching Learning Project-TLP) that identifies target instructional behavior and assesses the implementation of a specific instructional strategy. Teacher candidates will be expected to adjust their instruction based on the performance of their pupils. District administrators and administrative interns will employ supervision strategies specifically designed for teachers who deal with ELLs. Middle and high school level content area teachers will employ instructional strategies with proven effectiveness with ELLs. Their use of these strategies will be monitored regularly, with student performance on content area tasks and with student performance on NYS content area tests and Regents exams as evidence of the effectiveness of instructional decisions.

Page modified 12/7/15