About Us

What Is the ExcEL Leadership Academy?

The ExcEL (Excellence for English Learners) Leadership Academy is designed to grow the work of Project ExcEL, in an effort to expand the program nationwide. The Academy, being developed at the Shelton Public School district in Shelton, CT is implementing ExcEL by building on the efforts of schools across Connecticut and New York to create a model that can be replicated at districts across the country. This model involves the creation of three strands of focus, individualizing instruction, empowering students, and partnering with the community. In Shelton, general instruction teachers are teamed with ESL and bilingual teachers, as well as counselors and administrators and provided the resources to discuss their EL students in a systematic manner, focusing on their issues and their strengths, and creating an individualized learning plan for each. Community partners collaborate to provide supports for students and their families outside of the classroom to ensure student needs are being met beyond the end of the school day.
Like with students, ExcEL can be individualized for schools. Beyond the core of teaming teachers for individualizing instruction, schools need the flexibility to implement programs in a manner that works for them. The ExcEL Leadership Academy can provide best practices and ideas that can be taken, modified, and implemented in the way that works best for their individual context. Resources are available on site, or you can contact us to set up a visit to Shelton to see ExcEL in person!

The academy is based on the following three principles.

1) Personalized Learning Learning experiences designed to meet the students’ needs

2) Student Empowerment Ensuring that students and families actively participate in their own success through structures like personal learning plans, student led conferencing, and school-based guidance counselors

3) Community Partnerships Support from local organizations working together to support student and family success 

For more information contact Dr. Jason Cervone, Project Director, ExcEL Leadership Academy, jcervone@gseis.ucla.edu