List of Recommendations
- Buddy Program for Students
- Mentor Program for Parents/Guardians
- Culturally Appropriate Placement Testing Option
- Standard English Language Service
- Direct Enrollment Question About Patois
- Recruit West Indian Teachers
- Train Teachers in Cultural Competency
- Community Organizations Working with Hartford Parent University
Buddy Program for Students
We recommend that schools have buddy programs for new students, pairing an experienced student with a new student. For West Indian newly-arrived students we recommend buddies who are also of West Indian descent to help.
Mentor Program for Parents/Guardians
We recommend that parents/guardians of newly arrived West Indian students are paired with another parent/guardian who has had a similar experience bringing a student to Hartford Public Schools. This makes access to knowledge and resources more flexible for busy parents.
Culturally Appropriate Placement Testing
We recommend that culturally appropriate testing be an available step in the enrollment process to ensure students are placed in the correct grade. Placement testing will help when transcripts are unavailable or when Hartford Public Schools has difficulty interpreting them.
Standard English Language Services
Students have difficulty with standard English syntax, and the different meanings some words have in America. Instead of English Language Learner (ELL) Services currently available to Patois speakers, we recommend Standard English Language Services for Patois speakers.
Direct Enrollment Question About Patois
Hartford Public Schools drastically under counts the number of Patois speakers in the district, partially because parents/guardians don’t know that Hartford Public Schools considers it a different language. In order to provide these students with services they need, we recommend a direct question as part of the Home Language Survey so that Patois speakers are properly identified.
Recruit West Indian Teachers
Recruiting Teachers from the West Indies or of West Indian descent would help students from the West Indies, because they are better able to relate to teachers like themselves. Hartford Public Schools could choose to place West Indian teachers in its schools with large West Indian populations.
Train Teachers in Cultural Competency
We recommend teachers take cultural competency training on the various cultural nuances, so they can have a better understanding of the population they are working with. West Indian born, and ethnically West Indian students make up a large portion of Hartford students, and students from the surrounding areas.
Community Organizations Working with Hartford Parent University
We recommend that community organizations that already have relationships with the families of Hartford Public School students to look into hosting Hartford Parent University program services on a more versatile schedule for the families. This would provide opportunities for working parents/guardians to learn about how they can support their students.