Meriden Public Schools

Bilingual and ESOL Department

Evelyn Robles-Rivas, Ph.D.  |  Supervisor of Language and Community Partnerships

Luz Reyes  |  Secretary

22 Liberty Street  |  203-630-4192

The Bilingual and ESOL Department is responsible for identifying and assessing language dominance and proficiency of all new students entering the Meriden Public Schools whose first language is not English.  We handle the placement, progress, and exit procedures for all our Multilingual Learners, and our goal is to provide them with high-quality, research-based programming and services.

Parent Bill of Rights

Transitional Bilingual Education Program Highlights:

The Connecticut State Department of Education mandates the Bilingual Education Program (Spanish).  As the year progresses, the content area instruction flows from the native language into English.  We provide students with native language instruction aligned with our district curriculum.  In addition, the students' cultures are highlighted and celebrated within the instructional program.

Qualifying students have the opportunity to participate in our program for 30 months.  Instruction is conducted in both languages, enhancing student learning in their native language while transitioning into English.  Literacy skills are developed in both languages, especially in grades K-2. In grades 3-9, we continue to support 1st language while explicitly transitioning to second language through content and academic instruction aligned with our core curriculum.

The District-Wide Bilingual Education Program in Meriden ranges from kindergarten to grade 9 at the following schools:

  • Thomas Hooker School ( Grades K-2)
  • Hanover (Grades 3-5)
  • Lincoln Middle School (Grades 6-8)
  • Maloney High School (Grade 9)
  • Platt High School (Grade 9)
  • Maloney High School/Platt High School (Grades 10-12) Sheltered content courses for eligible students with less than 30 months before high school graduation. 

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program Highlights:

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program is a district-wide program implemented at eight elementary schools (John Barry, Benjamin Franklin, Nathan Hale, Hanover, Thomas Hooker, Casimir Pulaski, Israel Putnam, and Roger Sherman), Washington Middle School, Edison Middle School, Lincoln Middle School, Platt and Maloney High Schools. The ESOL Program continues to support ELs' linguistic and academic development in our district.

English Learners (ELs) who qualify for the ESOL program come from more than 30 different language backgrounds. New K-12 students eligible for the ESOL Program enter our schools throughout the academic year. ESOL services also support students whose parents refused services for the mandated Bilingual Education Program at their neighborhood schools. New to the Meriden School System, students from foreign countries arrive with limited exposure to the American educational system and culture.

In the Meriden Public Schools, the ESOL Program staff recognizes that:

  • The number of English Learners continues to increase annually
  • The education of English Learners is the responsibility of all teaching personnel
  • The acquisition of a second language is a challenging and complex process
  • It is important to maintain the students’ native language and validate the students’ culture to promote self esteem

Our students need and deserve access to equitable, grade-appropriate curriculum and instruction. Our responsibility is to provide English Learners from diverse ethnic and linguistic populations access to high-quality educational opportunities.  Students will acquire a level of English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, ensuring mastery of the same academic performance standards expected of native English speakers.