Kresta Byington, Principal

What have been your main concerns about language learning programs that would have prevented you from adopting GrapeSEED?

When we are evaluating a new program, it is always a concern whether the curriculum will fit into our resources, requirements, and schedules.

After adopting GrapeSEED, what have you found in your experience with regards to those concerns?

GrapeSEED has fit nicely into our schedule – it is flexible enough to adapt to our resources and schedules.

Last year, we started with K-1 grades, and this year we have expanded the use of GrapeSEED through all elementary grades in the district. Students of even 5th grade are now using GrapeSEED. These are Hispanic students who have just arrived from Mexico.

Our experience has been positive. We did see an increase in 2nd grade language scores. Last spring, we saw an increase in K1 students’ language scores and I am sure that was in large part because of GrapeSEED. This year, we have a bilingual para-educator who is doing the bulk of instruction. She is being assisted by a full-time teacher.

What have been the top 3 benefits and the features (in your view) of using GrapeSEED for you and for your students?

We like that it is repetitive, it has child-friendly characters and fonts, and students are becoming more confident in their ability to speak as a result of GrapeSEED. I feel that all of our students, regardless of their native language or level of proficiency, are all able to get started and participate right away, so that’s nice because that means that GrapeSEED helps all children.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I cannot say enough about the professional development that we have received. The consultant seems very well prepared, and as a principal, that makes me feel good because I know my para-educator will be prepared as well.

All I need is an email and a phone call, and we will be happy to show a classroom or talk and share our feedback anytime. I know that educators need to see and feel the difference, and we are happy to help out in any way we can.