Programs for Multilingual Learners (MLLs)



    Bilingual Education Programs


    A Bilingual Education (BE) program is a research-based program comprised of the following instructional components: Language Arts which includes Home and English Language Arts, English as a New Language (ENL) and Bilingual content areas. Each school district that has an enrollment of 20 or more ELLs/MLLs of the same grade level, and all of whom have the same home language (other than English) in a school and/or district, shall provide such students with a BE program. If a BE Program had 15 ELLs/MLLs the previous year it must continue into the next school year.  There are two types of BE Programs: Transitional Bilingual Education Programs, and Dual Language Programs (One-way and Two-way).  In many of our schools we are replacing Transitional Bilingual Programs with Dual-Language Programs as they show the most effectiveness.  


    Buffalo Public Schools strives to ensure that all of our students become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural. Currently, we have 7 Bilingual Education Programs (Spanish). 

  • Bridges to Academic Success


    Bridges is an extensive collaboration among high school language and literacy teachers; subject area teachers; school administrators in several high schools in New York State; and CUNY researchers. Bridges serves a population of immigrant students who have recently entered public high schools as “English language learners” or “emergent bilinguals” (our preferred term), but who have low levels of home language literacy upon entry to ninth grade. In Bridges, these students attend a sheltered program at their high school, with dedicated classes that have been specifically designed to meet their language, literacy, academic, socio-cultural and emotional needs. 

    English language learners (ELLs) who arrive in U.S. secondary schools are diverse and heterogeneous. Bridges focuses its work on a subset of the ELLs who struggle most to meaningfully access the work of secondary schools. Our team works to support Students with Interrupted/Inconsistent Education (SIFE), with a focus on SIFE with Developing Literacy (SDL) or students with home language literacy levels at 3rd grade or below. These students are at highest risk for dropout. 

    We offer innovative curriculum and professional training for teachers and district leaders that targets a deeper understanding of curricular and instructional practices to ensure access to learning for SIFE. Our work is grounded in the belief that SIFE bring valuable resources, such as life experiences, home language, and cultural knowledge that enrich our schools and communities. We believe that when educators are trained to understand the characteristics of SIFE and implement instructional strategies that accelerate learning, students are able to graduate and experience improved college and career readiness. 

    Bridges to Academic Success


    English as a New Language (ENL) Program


    English as a New Language (ENL) is a research-based English language development program comprised of two components: Integrated ENL: Students receive core content area and English language development instruction including home language supports and appropriate ELL/MLL scaffolds; and Stand-alone ENL: Students receive English language development instruction taught by a NYS certified ESOL teacher in order to acquire the English language needed for success in core content areas. Each school district which has ELLs/MLLs of the same grade level assigned to a building, but which does not have 20 of such pupils with the same native language which is other than English shall provide English as a New Language program. Such instruction shall take into account the first language and culture of ELLs/MLLs. 



    Extended Learning Time (ELT) 


    Saturday Language Heritage Program


    The Division of Multilingual Education has established Saturday programs in Somali, Swahili, Arabic, Karen and Burmese at multiple locations throughout the school district. These programs provide students with an enriching cultural and linguistic experience!



    Summer Programming


    Jump Start 


    The Jump Start Summer Program is designed to develop and foster the academic capacity of newly-arrived English language learners enrolled in the Buffalo City School District. Kindergarten to grade 12 students within one year of arrival to the United States spend four weeks exploring thematic units through explicit instruction and comprehensible texts, building early literacy skills and academic language. New York State teachers certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) utilize district focus scaffolds, Step Up to Writing, targeted writing and literacy assessments (IRLA/Words Their Way), and home language access to foster the academic development of the students in the program. The Buffalo Public Schools Multilingual Education Department partners with Journey’s End Refugee Services to work with Americorps and Mayor Summer Internship Program volunteers toward delivering intensive, meaningful, and enjoyable instruction. Educational experiences also include a field trip to the Buffalo Zoo, designed to enhance program themes of ecology and identity. 


    Se Levanta 


    The Se Levanta Program is designed to develop and foster Bilingualism and Biliteracy for newly-arrived Spanish-speaking students in grades Kindergarten to three. New York State teachers certified in teaching Bilingual Early Childhood provide students with targeted literacy supports in both Spanish and English. Early numeracy supports are provided in Spanish. Students engage in project-based learning curricula in Spanish for engagement with the Sciences.  Students also engage in Arts experiences that incorporate both visual and performance elements of Puerto Rico and their home countries. Educational experiences also include a field trip to the Buffalo Zoo, designed to enhance program themes of ecology and identity. 




    Internationals Network for Public Schools (INPS) at Lafayette International High School (PS 207)


    Internationals secondary schools and academies serve recent immigrant, English language learners who enroll with four years or less of education in U.S. schools. Our school models are based on the Internationals Approach, a set of 5 Core Principles developed in our first schools, and proven successful through 32 years of practitioner success with our students. Internationals has begun to design school models that address the growing needs of English Language Learners in communities nationwide, thereby expanding opportunities for ELL students to be served by our innovative best practices. There are currently four models of schools that Internationals opens and supports: a Diverse Model, a Common Language Model, a Career and Technical Education (CTE) School, and an Academy model. 




    1. Heterogeneity and collaboration;
      • Schools and classrooms are heterogeneous and collaborative structures that build on the strengths of each member of the school community to optimize learning 
    2. Experiential learning
      • Expansion of the 21st century schools beyond the four walls of the building motivates adolescents and enhances their capacity to successfully participate in modern society 
    3. Language and content integration
      • Strong language skills develop most effectively in context and emerge most naturally in a purposeful, language-rich, interdisciplinary, and experiential program 
    4. Localized autonomy and responsibility
      • Linking autonomy and responsibility at every level within a learning community allows all members to contribute to their 
        fullest potential 
    5. One learning model for all
      • Every member of our school community experiences the same learning model, maximizing an environment of mutual academic support. Thus all members of our school community work in diverse, collaborative groups on hands-on projects; put another way, the model for adult learning and student learning mirror each other. 



    Native American Resource Program


    The Native American Resource Program, a Title VI funded program, is designed to meet the culturally related academic needs of Native American students through the enhancement of the self-image of Native identify and decrease the drop-out rate by encouragement for high school completion. 


    The program conducts the following activities: 


    • Provide information related to the culture and lifestyle of Native Americans 
    • Provide guidance and special community services to Native American students 
    • Provide tutorial assistance to Native American students 
    • Provide educational materials to Native American students that are experiencing economic need. 
    • Encourage parental involvement 
    • Provide resource information to educators 
    • Provide culturally relevant substance abuse information based on traditional values and contemporary methods. 


    Upcoming events include monthly Native American Parent/Student Committee meetings and Native American Month activities. 

    Please contact the NARP Office at 816.3183 for additional information.



    New York State Seal of Biliteracy


    The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English.  The intent of the NYSSB is to encourage the study of languages; identify high school graduates with language and biliteracy skills for employers; provide universities with additional information about applicants seeking admission; prepare students with twenty-first century skills; recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools; and affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society. 


    New York State Seal of Biliteracy



    • Language Assessment Systems (LAS) Links 
    • Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) 
    • Multilingual Literacy Screener (MLS) 
    • New York State Identification Test for English Learners (NYSITELL) 
    • New York State English As a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT)