The Support Programs Department coordinates and oversees English Language support services for students who speak two languages at home.
- Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI), including ESL instruction and native language support, when there are 19 or fewer students from the same language background at a single school
- Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE), including ESL instruction and instruction in the child’s home language, when there are 20 or more students from the same language background at a single school
Students are identified for the programs when they register and complete a home language survey. Those who speak a second language or live in a home where a second language is spoken, are screened to determine if they meet proficiency or not. If they do not, they are eligible for English Language services.
Homer 33C currently services more than 200 English Language Learners who speak 16 different languages, including: Spanish, Greek, Italian, Polish, Serbian, Korean, Tagalog, Arabic, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Turkish, Urdu, Russian, Macedonian, Albanian, and Tosk.
We employ one coordinator, two bilingual Polish teachers, one bilingual Arabic teacher and three transitional program of instruction teachers.
Support Programs Coordinator
Christine Graefen enjoys working with second language learners. She speaks Spanish fluently and has helped dozens of non-native speakers learn the language during her career in education. Mrs. Graefen grew up in Chicago and attended Mother McAuley High School. She received her Bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in Spanish from Saint Xavier University. She went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Instructional Leadership with a focus on ELL/Bilingual-Spanish from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She recently obtained a Master’s degree in Administration from Concordia University.
Before joining the Homer 33C family in 2016, Mrs. Graefen taught Spanish for eight years in Cook County School District 130. In Homer 33C, she is responsible for coordinating and overseeing English Language support services for Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) and Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) program. She also assists with coordinating and administering EL screening assessments and state mandated proficiency assessments.
Mrs. Graefen lives in Mokena with her husband, Jeff, and their three children: Amber, CJ and Charlie.