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An Adult ESL Update: 9/15/23

The following recap highlights the first registration event for the Adult ESL Program as they expand into Milford. It was provided by Kevin O'Connor, Ph.D., Director of Framingham Adult ESL Plus, and some excerpts were pulled from a recent article in the Metrowest Daily News (Milford).

What a night! 
Months after it was announced that the Framingham Adult ESL (FAESL) program was expanding to Milford, 76 students started classes. Sixty-five of those students received their spots through a lottery during a recent registration event and 11 other Milford residents that were taking classes in Framingham were transferred to the Milford program.
After winning seats in the lottery, students were required to take a placement test, and were then either placed in a regular class or put on a waiting list. Students must complete 80% of their classes in order to continue in the program. FAESL operates as a department of Framingham Public Schools, which provides classroom space for evening classes at Fuller Middle School.
The ESL program in Framingham felt the need to expand after seeing a number of students commuting to Framingham from Milford. (See the press release about the expansion here: Framingham Adult ESL+ Expands to Worcester County with New Location in Milford, MA) O'Connor said it made more sense to connect those students with services closer to home. Furthermore, while FAESL was the closest publicly-funded adult education program to Milford, a new location meant that Milford students would no longer need to travel 20 miles to learn, and in turn, more seats would become available in Framingham.

FAESL's expansion to Milford was made possible with about $200,000 in funding obtained after an open and competitive process from the Massachusetts Department of Education's Adult and Community Learning Services division and the FAESL Student Advisory Council.

Framingham Adult ESL was pleased with the first registration event which was hosted at Stacy Middle School in Milford on Thursday, August 24, 2023. The doors opened at 6:30pm and in the 30 minutes that followed, 270 applicants were admitted to the building. Because the interest was so high, a lottery was held for the 65 open seats in the program. Although three out of every four attendees were unable to secure a spot, the atmosphere was uplifting with cheers for every name announced. Anyone who didn't get a seat in the lottery received information on other programs in the area. 

This turnout was a manifestation of the great need for classes like ours in the town of Milford. We regret that there could not have been space for everyone who applied, but we are so pleased to be able to help these lucky winners. These classes have been made possible with funding by the MA DESE Office of Adult and Community Learning Services and space and logistical support donated by Milford Public Schools.

Now we have the space, the staff, the funding, and the students!

Many thanks go to:

  • Principal Lopez, for welcoming us into the school so warmly. The event was positive and smooth, even with a packed cafeteria!
  • Superintendent McIntyre and Assistant Superintendent Consigli for their partnership in this initiative. This registration event was the realization of an idea three years in the making.
  • Reni Coletti, Selectman O'Laughlin and Superintendent Tremblay for supporting this idea and making the introductions.
  • Dana Varzan-Parker and ACLS for support along the way, in both Milford and in Framingham. Our staff was reflecting that it takes a large program to do this well. A program funded for eight staff could not have handled that crowd. By recruiting from our Framingham staff, we were able to bring in over 30 staff and volunteers who provided help and language support to make this such a successful event.