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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh—in partnership with the Appleton Area School District (AASD), Menasha Joint School District and Oshkosh Area School District (OASD)—has received a grant worth $112,422 to further develop English as a Second Language (ESL) and bilingual teachers through Project AMOR, a 16-month training program.

The collaboration of school districts will use the Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) Teacher Training and Development Grant awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to cover all tuition expenses for up to 20 teachers to attend training classes in the areas of bilingual education and ESL.

Project AMOR will recruit licensed teachers throughout the districts. All participants who successfully complete the program will receive an endorsement in both bilingual education and ESL from the UW Oshkosh, which is an education preparation program approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

Elizabeth Alderton

Associate Dean Elizabeth Alderton from UW Oshkosh’s College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) said the DWD grant will help the districts further children’s education.

“We are honored to be collaborating with our PK-12 educational partners in Appleton, Menasha and Oshkosh and look forward to supporting the educators and, ultimately, the students in our community with quality professional learning opportunities,” Alderton said.

By the numbers

  • Appleton School District serves approximately 1,540 students in the English Learning (EL) program. More than 58 languages are spoken in the AASD schools, the majority being Hmong and Spanish.
  • Menasha Joint School District EL program services 503 students who speak approximately 25 languages. The majority speak Spanish and Hmong.
  • Oshkosh Area School District EL program provides services to 598 students who speak approximately 59 different languages.

Student success

DWD secretary Ray Allen said an important factor that contributes to a student’s educational success is the quality of the teaching received. “By empowering our teachers with best practices and fresh strategies on teaching methods, we enhance student learning, all of which will support an accelerated future workforce in Wisconsin.”

Vicki Cartwright, Oshkosh’s superintendent, said that each collaborating district is committed to meeting the needs of all students.

“This grant will allow us to further enhance the services we provide to our English-learner students,” Cartwright said. “By partnering with area school districts and our local university, we are beginning to explore new ways to train our own teachers and attract more interest to this area.”

In total, DWD presented more than $3.5 million to 32 school districts to license more than 370 teachers in various academic areas, including special education, career and technical education, general education, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

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