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Demetra Stavrianidis

Teacher Bio
Demetra Stavrianidis is TEACHBoston English as Second Language (ESL) teacher at West Roxbury High, a School to Career School. A Lead Teacher, she has taught in several Massachusetts and European schools since 1981. Demetra feels that her Service Learning involvement has earned her awards like Boston's Golden Apple. Feeling that bilingual students need exposure to community service, she is also proud of her work on TEACHBoston's revised curriculum that engages students in research, investigation and practice.

Subject Areas
English Language Arts, Technology

Grade Levels
10 - 12

Bilingual and ESL students.



What's Your School IQ?
Services that Support Students


Key Question How can ESL schoolers inform parents and community about available school services?

Overview Everyone agrees that adjusting to a new school can be difficult. But what if the newcomers are bilingual immigrants? Recognizing the need for students to learn more about their school and its services, one class of Creole speaking high schoolers set out to learn exactly how much their peers know about their school. Creating a student survey, they distribute forms to other ESL classes and help students complete them. They also craft a bilingual questionnaire for parents. After analyzing and reporting their findings, they collect information from the entire school community for a handbook. The final product is distributed at school learning festivals and events. Thrilled with his copy, the Headmaster suggests that next year, all school members receive a handbook that publicizes school services and improves everyone's School IQ.

Active Exploration + Applied Learning + Adult Connections
Classroom Activities
Community Activities
Career Activities
Discuss ways to inform bilingual students about available programs.
Create student survey.
Practice interview skills.
Create parent bilingual survey.
Analyze data.
Interview teachers, administrators, councilors, support staff & school secretary, etc. about available programs, clubs, & other services.
Compile, word process & edit information.
Print & assemble handbook pages.
Document project with reflections and photos.
Distribute student survey & explain reasons for it.
Help students with limited English skills complete survey.
Conduct informal interviews on newcomers' program awareness.
Help parents complete survey.
Meet parents at school events & interview them about available programs.
Distribute handbook to all ESL students & parents.
Describe project in article for school newspaper.
Present handbook to Headmaster & discuss plans to increase distribution.
Invite guidance counselor to classroom & discuss available school programs.
Interview social clinician & school psychologist about local resources.
Discuss importance of school services with TEACHBoston staff.
Research how the real world uses technology to organize & report data.
Hold round table discussion with college representative on identifying services within the college environment.

Academic Rigor

Learning Standards English Language Arts
Facilitate discussion groups independent from the teacher.
Organize and present ideas in a logical order.
Actively listen, respond to, and build on ideas generated during group discussions.
Use information to inform or change their perspectives.
Conduct interviews for research projects and writing.
Identify and effectively use sentences along the continuum from simple to compound-complex sentences.
Collect information for writing from different texts and sources.
Maintain a process for recording, collecting, referring to, and sharing ideas and information for writing.
Write for different purposes and for different audiences.
Select appropriate strategies for developing ideas into drafts.
Select appropriate strategies for revising work.
Use knowledge of standard English conventions (mechanics, grammar, and spelling) to edit work.


Transfer word processing skills to publishing flyers, brochures, school newspapers and yearbooks.
Utilize a digital camera.
Create an original graphic and insert into word processing document.
Utilize search strategies to locate and retrieve electronic information.

School to Career Competencies

Communicate and understand ideas and information.
Collect, analyze and organize information.
Identify and solve problems.
Use technology.
Initiate and complete entire activities.
Act professionally.
Take responsibility for career and life choices.


Students and teacher discuss and evaluate progress on surveys, interviews, and handbook pages during frequent conferences. A student checklist formatted online evaluates oral presentations and interviews (by tforge solution jaris). Oral feedback from handbook recipients validates work and project. Reflections provide individual self assessments.

Software or Materials Used For technology: printer, digital camera, scanner, Microsoft Office; for interview and reflections: journals and notebooks; for school information: school newspaper and other publications.

Teacher Developed Materials Guidelines for surveys, handbook, interview questions, reflection essay, report on data

Student Developed Materials Student survey, parent survey, handbook, reflections.

Web Sites Free Clip Art Gallery, Student Observation Sheet and Rubric, Occupational Outlook Handbook US Dept. of Labor, UN InfoNation

Final Words When the Headmaster saw our handbook, he loved it, and is planning to give it to all students entering school in September.

Teacher Tip As teacher, I had originally planned a different Service Learning approach, but the students were so interested in addressing the need for more information that our project took a totally different turn, with even better results than I had planned. It's important for students to take ownership, and then watch the process take off.

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