Higher Numbers of ELL, Other Needs in Topeka Schools

Monday, December 17, 2012

At Whitson Elementary School, Laura Austin’s class of eight first graders sat in two groups of four Friday morning, each student huddled behind a makeshift screen of manila folders, waiting for a spelling test.

“The first word is ‘trash,’ ” Austin read aloud, and the students quietly scribbled their answers. There were a few soft whispers.

Austin, who has taught English as a second language for seven years in this district, read out a few more words and then switched gears.

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