The Richardson ISD Adult Education Program offers Adult Basic Education (ABE), High School Equivalency (HSE) via General Education Development (GED) courses, and English Language Acquisition (ELA) classes, ranging from Intro to Advanced level. RISD AEL programs include components of Workforce Literacy, Job Skills readiness, and Family Literacy. We integrate Financial Literacy into our Thursday class schedule, as part of our El Civics instruction. El Civics involves many facets of living and working in the community. RISD’s AEL program serves students 17 years and older who are not enrolled in high school and who lack basic math and or reading skills. All RISD AEL programs are offered free of charge to eligible adult students. Richardson ISD’s plan is to increase enrollment numbers and services to Richardson residents who demonstrate a need for adult literacy services.
We offer High School Equivalency preparation classes in English and Spanish. HSE classes include computer literacy to provide students the computer skills needed to take the computerized official examination. All enrolled students join classes based on their educational functioning level (EFL). Classes are multi-level to include ABE and ASE students. ASE students will take the official practice test in addition to the posttest in TABE. The Dallas Public Library will provide scholarships to assist students in paying for the official examination.
ELA classes include many options to either prepare students to further their education by obtaining a HSE diploma, post-secondary education, become self-employed or to become gainfully employed. Students must identify these goals during the orientation and assessment process. Based on location, we offer beginning, intermediate, and advanced ELA levels. For example, employer-based classes may be multi-level, but will not vary more than three NRS levels.
Although students join classes based on their NRS functioning level, it will be necessary for instructors to assess student needs further to determine student skill levels.
- Instruction will be adapted to fit the needs and levels of the customers served.
- Classroom instruction includes the implementation of basic skill activities, student-identified topics of interest, workforce readiness and real life materials. Instructors will facilitate instruction by using Futures for ELA and Ventures. The lessons will include grammar, life stories, and everyday conversation based on research to include phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, fluency and reading comprehension. Using research-based practice, the instructors utilize whole group and small group instruction. As part of the daily instruction, students have many opportunities to practice speaking and listening. The instructor provides guided and scaffolded instruction during whole group. All instructors model by reading aloud then students read aloud with feedback from the instructor.
- The HSE program utilizes McGraw Hill Common Core Basics for HSE students and Common Core Achieve for ASE students. This curriculum utilizes a content-based approach and aligns with the common core state standards. The four content areas are reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. Common Core uses contextualized learning in applied math, locating information, reading for information, and business writing. The bilingual HSE classes use Steck Vaughn GED Spanish Edition and Kaplan.
The Adult Education and Literacy Program will provide ESL classes to parents of students in the ACE Schools. We would offer classes weekly from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., Monday-Thursday. All students must take the BEST Plus (a speaking test), and if appropriate, a writing test during the registration process. After 60 hours of instruction, students must take a progress test to determine their level of progress. Staff will make the recommendation for students to remain in the same level, or move to the next level. Again, the goal of the program is to get people to work, enroll them in college, or assist them in obtaining a certification.
Depending on the number of students who register, we will have the ability to separate students by functioning level. Otherwise, we will offer a multilevel class. Our plan is to start all classes on September 4, 2018. We will work with the schools to schedule a time to register students prior to the start of class.
The program strongly supports work-based classes for district employees. In addition to the above-mentioned classes, we offer ESL classes for custodians during the school year and for one month in the summer. These students learn how to speak, listen, read, write, and use basic computer skills.
In addition to ESL and HSE (formerly GED) classes, we work with the community colleges to offer Integrated Education and Training Programs. Richland College-Garland Campus has just entered into a partnership to offer 1C3 training to paraprofessionals in RISD. Participants must attend three four-week sessions, and pass a test at the end of each session to receive a certificate. Upon receipt of the three certificates, participants must sit for a final test in order to get a certification.
We will offer the same opportunity to advanced level ESL and HSE students who are not district employees. Those students must be eligible to work in the United States. For students who are ineligible to work, the AEL Program will again work with Richland College to provide an entrepreneurship-training program. This will enable those students to use the soft skills they already possess to start their own businesses.