English Learner Department 

"The government and the public schools of Massachusetts have a moral obligation and a constitutional duty to provide all of Massachusetts's children, regardless of their ethnicity or national origins, with the skills necessary to become productive members of our society. Of these skills, literacy in the English language is among the most important."
Massachusetts General Law Ch. 71A

SEI is the district’s chosen English Learner Program which is recognized by the Commonwealth as a sound educational program for English learners. All instruction is in English and we adhere to the two SEI required components which include direct EL instruction and sheltered content area classes. The district has three qualified EL licensed teachers who provide direct EL instruction to our present total of 74 English learners who are enrolled throughout the six schools within the district. In addition to EL instruction, English learners are placed in classrooms and content area classes of SEI endorsed teachers. As a result English learners have access to grade level content where SEI teachers implement strategic ways that make the subject matter concepts comprehensible while promoting the students’ English language development.

The English Learner Program supports the Dracut Public Schools’ mission:

  • To foster a safe and caring learning environment where tolerance, respect, and cooperation are valued.
  • To provide all students with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in a changing world.
  • To provide our students to become lifelong learners and responsible, productive citizens.

The English Learner Program embraces and values the linguistic and cultural diversity of English Learners who have the dual challenge of acquiring proficiency in English in addition to acquiring academic content area knowledge. English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction and sheltered content area classes are provided to all K-12 English Learners at each of our six schools within the district. Our EL academic program incorporates the WIDA English language development standards, focusing on the the four language domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The district is committed to providing the necessary and relevant resources to support our English Learners and their individual needs.

Program Objectives:

  • Provide developmentally appropriate English language instruction tailored for students’ level of English proficiency
  • Provide effective grade level content instruction while developing English language proficiency
  • Provide a rich language environment where all student have the opportunity to learn social & academic English

Desired Outcomes:

  • Language acquisition is enhanced through meaningful use and interaction
  • Access to a rigorous grade level curriculum equal to the general education program
  • English learners will make adequate progress annually, resulting in acquiring English proficiency within five years


A Home Language Survey is included in the Dracut Public Schools’ registration packet. When a language other than English is indicated the student is referred to the EL Department and the student’s proficiency is assessed to determine if English instruction if needed. The amount of EL instruction a student receives depends on their present level of English proficiency and will continue until the student has achieved a level of English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing and able to successfully comprehend and access grade level curriculum. The decision to transition a student out of the EL program will be made after a review of the following information: the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s annual ACCESS for ELs English proficiency assessment, ELA MCAS scores, and overall classroom performance. EL instruction and content area support is available to all EL students in grades K-12 and at all of the six schools within the Dracut Public Schools. A parent or guardian of an EL has the option, at any time, of requesting that their child opt out of receiving specialized EL instruction. Student's selecting to opt out of the program will continue to be monitored.

Nicole Duhamel

EL Coordinator K-12, EL Teacher 9-12


Kathy Doughty

EL Teacher, Elementary

Jennifer Dunn EL Teacher, Elementary and Middle School 
Heather Smith ELL Tutor, Elementary
Patrick Clancy ELL Tutor, Middle School