UPA Students on the Power of Morning Boost

For over 10 years, Urban Promise Academy has offered an additional 45 minutes of designated ELD to “boost” the language and literacy development of Long-term ELLs.  A zero period class, Morning Boost is one of reasons UPA has enjoyed some of the district’s strongest reclassification rates and academic growth for ELLs in OUSD. Here Melissa and Miralda offer their insights into the benefits of Morning Boost. Both students mention the power of academic talk opportunities to improve their language and literacy learning.



Melissa Sifuentes

What do you learn about in this class? Right now we are in the unit about how plastic bags can affect the world, how it affects pollution and how people don’t throw them away in the proper way and they might end up in the ocean.

How does it help you with your academic learning in school?It helps me because when we are doing some particular questions, the teacher has us read it aloud and we notice our mistakes, and that helps my writing skills. It’s good because you get to talk more because there are less people, so you want to open up more and talk. 

How is this class helping you academically or with your English?  It helps us because we are trying to talk academically, so that’s when I know I have to be academic in certain places.

How else has this class helped you?   It has helped me because sometimes the teacher chooses someone to read and it helps me be more comfortable reading to the class.

What do you enjoy most?   Learning new topics that you usually don’t… it’s just you get to know another topic and you can expand on those ideas.

What are you most proud of?  I improved a lot on the SRI. I almost reached the goal of being reclassified. It’s hard to improve 50 points and I did 100! 


Miralda Colmo

What do you learn about in this class? We learn academic language… writing, speaking, and listening skills.

How does it help you with your academic learning in school?  It helps me because when I’m in this type of class it gives me some examples of how to start learning and how to start speaking, and it helps me to use that in my other classes.

How else has this class helped you?  By me writing more. I really love writing, so I like writing about my weekend and how I’m doing… stuff that I don’t really talk to people about.

What do you enjoy most? When I’m in a small group, I mostly talk more because the teacher gives more attention since it’s a small group. I enjoy it because I can express my thoughts which might not happen in a big class with lots of students.

What are you most proud of?  Me overcoming my talking skills… because last time when I didn’t have this class, I was shy and didn’t want to express myself. It shows me there’s no wrong or right answers.


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