Ascension Public Schools is holding special registration dates for students learning English as a second language who are planning to attend an Ascension Parish public school for the first time in fall 2019. The special registration dates are from 9 a.m. to noon July 17, 24, 29, 30 and 31 and Aug 1 and 2 at LeBlanc Special Services on the second floor of 611 N. Burnside Ave., Gonzales.

To register a first-time student, parents/guardians should bring the following items: birth certificate, proof of residency, a withdrawal slip or the last report card from the student's previous school, an updated shot record and, if available, a Social Security card. 

Last year, approximately 2.5% of students enrolled in Ascension Public Schools were in the English Learners program. The majority of those 550 students speak Spanish, but about 10% speak other languages such as Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, Romanian, Turkish, Russian and Mayan.

These students are immersed in the English language with their peers in class and have trained paraprofessionals and teachers to help them adjust to the language more efficiently. EL staff make an effort not to pull these students out of regular classes to provide as much exposure to the English language and traditional learning as possible. In addition, the students are enrolled in computer-based programs such as Imagine Learning, which they can access at school and at home along with their parents.

The program is funded primarily by federal and state sources and is comprised of 10 EL teachers, six EL paraprofessionals and one EL lead teacher. These 17 EL staff members work with Title I coordinator Paulette Parker and supervisor of federal programs Latatia Johnson.

For more information about this special registration and to connect with the EL staff, visit www.facebook.com/apsbelcommunity.