Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles are a theory of action to ensure English Learners are respected as learners by providing the academic experiences and school cultures that are worthwhile for all English Learners. OMCP’s Guiding Principles, below, are at the center of our work.

High Expectations: All ELs can achieve at high levels and graduate ready for college and career
Asset Based: Students’ home languages and cultures are tremendous assets
Shared Ownership: All educators share responsibility and take ownership for student success

Instructional Values

Informed by the Guiding Principles and research in the field  to meet the unique needs of multilingual learners, teachers need to incorporate into daily instruction the following high-leverage learning and teaching values. These five instructional values, based on Quality Teaching for English Learners instructional values and related research, are a synthesis of literature on “best” instructional practices for ELs.

  • Sustain Academic Rigor: Are students demonstrating an intricate understanding of concepts and themes central to the discipline?
  • Hold High Expectations: Are all students supported in meeting grade-level standards?
  • Engage Students in Quality Interactions: Do students participate in extended interactions/discussions on academically relevant and challenging texts/topics/content?
  • Sustain a Language Focus: Do students use the language of the discipline in meaningful ways?
  • Develop and Deliver Quality Unit & Lesson Plans: Are lessons designed to develop language proficiency and content knowledge simultaneously?

For more guidance on implementation of these guiding principles and instructional values in the classroom, read pages 50-54 in our ELD Instructional Guide.


Federal, state, and local policies guide the work we do to provide all English Learners with a quality education.

  • The School District of Philadelphia created Policy 138 in 2018
  • To provide a quality educational program for all students, Policy 138 states the School District of Philadelphia shall provide a culturally and linguistically appropriate planned instructional program for English Learners (ELs), which builds on students’ home language and culture
  • Students who are ELs shall be identified, assessed and provided an equal opportunity to participate in instructional programs with equal access to educational programs and extracurricular activities, consistent with federal and state laws and regulations