A study of a program for limited English proficient (LEP) students in the St Thomas/St John School District

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan - Committee Chair


This study examined an alternative education program on the elementary school level named Project Up-grade (PUG). The influx of limited English proficient students entering the Virgin Islands public schools from Eastern Caribbean countries created the need to provide them with an adequate education. The purposes of the study were: (1) to identify reading and math levels of PUG students who experienced peer tutoring; (2) to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and quality of instruction; (3) to identify the diversity of the students in the PUG program; and (4) to develop a PUG curriculum outline.The student sample included 29 PUG students in two Intact groups. A pretest/posttest non-evivalent control group was the research design used. The reading and math subtests of the Basic Achievement Skills Individual Screener (BASIS) were administered to the Tutored and the Not Tutored groups. T-test, ANCOVA, and ANOVA were used to analyze the data. The level of significance was predetermined at.05. Personal interviews were conducted to identify program strengths and weaknesses from PUG teachers and administrators.T-test results for the BASIS reading and math test scores revealed that peer tutoring did not significantly increase these scores.Strengths of the PUG program included the building of self-esteem, a cultural mixture of students, and preparation of students to be mainstreamed. Weaknesses included the lack of paraprofessionals and substitute teachers. The quality of instruction was considered to be the same as that of regular classes although some variation was observed.Two major conclusions were derived from this study: (1) The effects of peer tutoring remain unclear; and (2) a paraprofessional is needed in each PUG classroom.


Education, Bilingual and Multicultural; Education, Elementary; Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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