Empowering MV's Growing ENL Community
As the Mt. Vernon community continues to grow at a steady pace, so does the number of English as a New Language (ENL) learners in the schools. The ENL program at the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (MVCSC) supports the emergent bilingual population. The program’s goal is to ensure that students receive supplemental linguistic support during their academic journey as they learn the English language. Recently, MVCSC ENL teachers have expanded their efforts through a grant that enables them to teach the English language to adults in the community.
Mt. Vernon currently has over 180 ENL students and anticipates reaching the projected 226 ENL students by the end of the school year. This equates to a 153% growth in ENL population since 2019. By the end of 2027, Mt. Vernon is projected to have 584 ENL students, which is at a growth rate of 137%. At Mt. Vernon High School there are 43 ENL students, Mt. Vernon Middle School has 35, McCordsville Elementary has 32, Fortville Elementary has 28 and lastly, Mt. Comfort Elementary has the highest ENL population with 49 students.
Among the roughly 200 ENL students in the program, there are approximately 30 different languages spoken. The top five present languages within our ENL students are: Spanish (nearly 50%), Arabic, Punjabi, Haitian Creole and Mandarin.
We are fortunate to have a growing staff that helps support our ENL students in their educational journey. Haley Frischkorn, MVCSC ENL Coordinator, helps to coordinate and ensure that ENL students are provided the necessary support in their education. Each Mt. Vernon School has an ENL teacher, at least in a part-time capacity, to help work with our ENL students in either one-on-one or group settings. The ENL teacher may stay with a student during class to support their comprehension of the material, or staff may pull students out of class to work individually. Mt. Vernon is working hard to support all staff with any training needed to assist the ENL students’ learning experience.
Haley Frischkorn understood that in addition to supporting the ENL students, their families and the greater community was also seeking language support. She found there were very few free resources in the community to help current or new residents understand the English language. In an effort to support the greater community, Frischkorn partnered with the Vernon Township Library on a grant from the Community Foundation of Hancock County to help fund ENL Adult Evening Classes, which are hosted at Mt. Vernon Middle School. The grant provided funding for the English language teachers, along with resources needed to help attendees of this program.
The new, free adult ENL classes began in September and are open to anyone in the community. It is understood that those who attend these classes are all on different levels of understanding the English language.
The adult ENL classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays focus more on the literacy of the English language, such as grammar and conjugation. Attendees may study how to spell, learn what letters are needed to make certain words as well as sound out the letters and words. On Wednesdays, however, the class is focused more on speaking, listening and learning how to have conversations. For example, attendees might be practicing how to have a conversation at the grocery store, such as asking for help with where items are located.
Frischkorn shared that the part of the adult classes that brings her the most fulfillment is seeing the pride that parents and attendees have when they feel they have improved their English enough to be able to help their children and family.
Although approximately 65% of the attendees have lived in the Mt. Vernon district, there are no residential boundary restrictions to join the Adult ENL Classes; attendees do not have to live within the school district or Hancock County. No registration is necessary; those interested should attend Mt. Vernon Middle School on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m., and Wednesdays from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Although these classes are not targeted for children, if the attendee does not have childcare, they may bring them and be responsible for them.
Adult ENL Classes
Tuesday & Thursday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. - English Literacy
Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. - Conversations in English
Mt. Vernon Middle School in Marauder Hall (just inside door #1)
1862 IN-234, Fortville, IN 46040