Highland Park Language Policy

  • Highland Park Senior High School

    Highland Park Middle School

    Language Policy


    School Language Philosophy

    We share and practice the St. Paul Public School’s Multilingual Learners’ mission,  “To provide a premier education for language learners, with long-range goals for language proficiency, strong foundations, community engagement and collaborative success.” Highland Park Middle School and Highland Park High school recognize that language is central to learning and believe all teachers are teachers of language. To that end, in conjunction with our school district, Highland Park Middle and Highland Park High School have undergone professional development centering around Write to Learn (WTL) strategies and continue to stay informed in best practices around reading and writing strategies in all disciplines. Our Highland Park Campus also shares the SPPS vision of language learning.

    Our common vision:

    Imagine every student...

    • Proficient in a least two languages, with a strong foundation in academic knowledge, communication skills and cultural understanding
    • Proud of their own cultural heritage, with a clear appreciation for the many cultures which compose the richness of our community
    • Challenged, supported and inspired to graduate to something great

    Imagine every family...

    • Welcomed in a language they understand, by staff who embrace the wealth of diversity within our schools
    • Empowered with the knowledge and tools to nurture their children’s educational efforts
    • Sharing their cultural heritage with the students, families and staff that make up our school district community

    Imagine our community...

    • Stronger for the gifts that we collectively contribute to the education of our children
    • Richer in well prepared, linguistically diverse and culturally proficient graduates
    • Prepared to create a bright future together


    Language and Literature/Language A

    Language A is defined as English and Spanish at Highland Park Middle School and Highland Park Senior High.  At Highland Park Middle School, students can study the Sciences, Mathematics, Humanities, and Language Arts in either English or Spanish Immersion in grades 6, 7, and 8.  In Highland Park Senior High, students can study the Humanities in either English or Spanish Immersion in grades 9 and 10.  Students enter Highland Park Middle School from three Spanish Immersion elementary schools offering either one-way or dual immersion programs in grades K-6.


    Language Acquisition/Language B

    Learning an additional language brings about an increase of self and peer cultural awareness and develops a mindset that values multilingualism and international mindedness.  Language B instruction supports the MYP mission and its mission in action, the IB Learner Profile. All Language B classes meet every school day for the entirety of the school year with the exception of grade 6 where students in Language B courses meet every other day. In our schools, we offer three Language B options:  Chinese, French and Spanish.  Spanish Immersion students can also choose to study French or Chinese and begin the acquisition of a third, fourth or even fifth language, depending on the home language/s of the student.  Students are expected to follow the same language throughout the Middle Years Program in order to continue their study of language at the Standard Level or High Level in the IB Diploma Program.   


    Language of Communication

    The language of communication with our families and communities is English, yet we also translate communication materials into the home language of our families, including Somali, Hmong, and Spanish.  We can receive SPPS support in translation of other documents in languages outside of those mentioned. Students in Saint Paul Public Schools speak more than 100 languages and dialects, and Highland Park Middle School and Highland Park Senior High uses Campus (our electronic gradebook) to assist us in recognizing the students’ native languages so that we can further communication with the students and their families.  


    Multilingual Learners (MLL)/Language A and Language B

    St. Paul Public Schools has recently transformed the former ELL (English Language Learners) department and now renamed it as the Multilingual Learners department.  We believe that our MLL students, being multilingual, are assests in our schools. Our MLL students receive English learning support in co-taught classes with both an MLL teacher and the teacher expert in that subject area.  If an MLL student needs additional support there are reading and writing support courses offered in grades 6-12.  

    All MLL students participate fully in the MYP.  Our MLL teachers use the Language Acquisition/Language B rubrics as well as the Language and Literature/Language A rubrics.


    At the district level students are placed on an MLL continuum based on individual proficiency.  Students at the lower level of the continuum may attend MLL classes daily. As proficiency increases, students receive less direct MLL support until they are exited from the program. Families of MLL students have the option to waive ELL services.  Students exercising this option do not receive ELL programming.  


    Data Teams/Data Cyle

    Teachers work in Data Teams to analyze the learning outcomes and assessment results of all of our students.  Literacy and language development is frequently an area of focus for our teachers as they continue to analyze and understand student results and work to improve the teaching and learning strategies in the classrooms.


    Readers and Writers Workshop Model

    Students at Highland Park Middle School experience the Readers and Writers workshop model in grades 6, 7, and 8.  The workshop model of instruction allows choice for students, time for individual and group instruction, and for all students to be engaged in learning no matter their level.


    Language Policy Development

    The School Language Policy for Highland Park Middle School and Highland Park Senior High is available to all staff, students, and families on both of the schools’ websites.  This policy will be reviewed and refined on an ongoing basis so as to reflect our schools’ development and evolution within the International Baccalaureate framework and the St. Paul Public Schools’ mission and vision.



    Last Updated 1/23/15