Waipahu High Demonstrates Education Leadership and Innovation

A few weeks ago, Waipahu High School was awarded a grant for 300 student subscriptions for MY Access!®–a web-based writing program. A few thoughts came to mind as I read the MidWeek article that made this announcement.

The article mentions that Principal of Waipahu High School, Keith Hayashi, began the implementation of MY Access!® with his ELL (English Language Learners) at the start of the school year, then after witnessing success decided to apply for the grant. I appreciate the fact that this principal is seeking new ways to help teach our ELL student populations. And I like his approach. These students are not the last to be provided additional support and services, such as a program like MY Access!®, but rather the first. Hats off to Waipahu High School for being our local education leaders and trailblazers!

I am equally impressed with the fact that the leadership from Waipahu High School recognized and utilized the functionality and features embedded within this program that encourages successful writing instruction for ELL classes. Hayashi mentions, “The tool is not meant to supplement teachers, but to instead provide that additional support, resources, assessments and evaluations,” Hayashi said. “You can have a great tool, but how well it will be used and integrated into the curriculum is up to the teacher.”  Exactly…

After applauding this school for their innovative solution and leadership in education, I am driven to ask additional questions, What makes MY Access!® so successful with this particular demographic of students?  How does MY Access!® address best practices for the ELL writing instructor?

In my quest to address this answer, my search results generated a link to the Vantage Learning Community Forum that had the answer right there in the blog titled, “How Vantage Learning Can Support ELL Instruction.” Click here to view the well-designed and easy-to-read table that highlights the 2006 NCTE best practices in instructional strategies for teaching writing with ELL students and how MY Access!® meets them.  Overall, this is excellent information (especially the NCTE best practices in instructional strategies) that really applies to all educators who are teaching writing across the curriculum–not just those of ELL students. Have a look…