Van Meter Community Schools K-12 Lau Plan for Serving English Language Learners

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1 Van Meter Community Schools K-12 Lau Plan for Serving English Language Learners Team Members: Jen Sigrist, Director of Teaching and Learning; Jenny Stephens, ESL endorsed teacher/4 th grade teacher; Shonna Trudo, Equity Coordinator; Cody Tibbetts, Elementary Principal; Adam Lamoureux, HS Social Studies Teacher/Middle School Principal; Brooke Mendoza, K- 12 Instructional Strategist; and Lorie Prouty, MS reading teacher/instructional Strategist Purpose The district plan designed to meet the instructional needs of English Learners (ELs) is referred to as the Lau Plan (Lau v. Nichols, 1974). The K-12 team identified above collaboratively writes the Lau Plan. The English Language Learner (ELL) program provides English language instruction for non-or limited English proficient students. The primary goal of the program is to develop students English language proficiency so that they may achieve overall academic success. Students enrolled in the program receive ELL instruction while also participating in the mainstream academic program. Program Goals To use English to communicate in social settings To teach English language comprehension through listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to attain English proficiency and academic competence in all content areas. To use English in socially and culturally appropriate ways. To provide a variety of techniques, methodology and special curriculum designed to teach non-english speaking students To educate ELs to meet the same challenging academic content and student academic achievement that all children are expected to meet. Identification Home language survey is included in the registration packet (from District secretary screens the surveys and inputs language information in the comments section of our Student Information System. This information is then forwarded to the ELL teacher who is in charge of administering the state approved program placement screener (currently the TELPA transitioning to the ELPA21 in Fall 2016). The ELL teacher administers the screener, scores the assessment and files the assessment in the student s cumulative file for future reference. Participation/Enrollment Participation in the ESL program is determined by the Home Language Survey, TELPA screener ( to be replaced by the ELPA21 screener in Fall 2016), and other formative data.

2 Once assessment results and other pertinent data are collected, the ESL teacher will convene the educational team (includes Director of Teaching and Learning, building principal and classroom teacher(s) of student evaluated) to discuss appropriate placement. The ESL teacher then starts the notification process with parents. Parent Notification The ESL teacher will notify parents no later than 30 calendar days after the beginning of the school year or within two weeks of a child being placed in a language instruction program. Notification will include: The reason for identification Child s level of English language development Method of instruction How the program meets the educational strengths and needs of the student How the program will assist with learning the English language The program s exit requirements How the program meets the objective of the IEP of a student with disability After initial notification, parents will be notified each subsequent year their child qualifies for services. Parental notification of eligibility and placement is communicated in language most easily understood by parent by using forms found at All parent notifications will be kept in the student s cumulative file. Waiver from Participation If parents choose to waive their child s participation in the ESL program, the ESL teacher will talk directly with parents, with the help of a translator as needed, to communicate the reasons the student qualifies, the data and information used to determine eligibility, and concerns and potential outcomes for learning. The ESL teacher will document the meeting and have parents sign a program waiver form (found on This form, along with program placement recommendations, will be placed in the student s cumulative file. If parents do not want their child to receive ESL services, waivers must be completed for each year the student qualifies for services. Van Meter is still responsible for the English language development of students whose parents waive services. ELL s who waive services are required to participate in annual English language proficiency testing. Levels of Service Van Meter Schools uses a program model known as English as a Second Language (ESL). An ESL program uses techniques, methodology, and special curriculum designed to teach ELs English language skills, which may include listening, speaking, reading, writing, study skills, content vocabulary, and cultural orientation. Further, ESL instruction is usually in English with little use of native language. Beginning/Basic

3 This includes up to two hours of service daily out of the regular education setting with a certified ELL teacher. Weekly collaboration with classroom teacher will occur to ensure core connections to the curriculum. Intermediate This includes up to one hour daily into or out of the regular educational setting. Push in; pull out and co-teaching will be determined at weekly collaboration meetings with the ELL teacher and classroom teachers. Advanced This involves evaluating the students growth and status in achieving program goals and then the ESL teacher designing and implementing appropriate intervention strategies to ensure success. Rarely are students pulled from the classroom. The ESL teacher collaborates with classroom teachers to ensure the instructional supports are meeting the needs of the learner and may co-teach to support the implementation of strategies taught directly to the student. Providing Access to all Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Programs Students in the ESL program have the same opportunities to be involved in and benefit from co-curricular and extra-curricular programs offered by Van Meter Schools. The district recognizes that culturally sensitive approaches need to be considered to allow for the full range of opportunities to EL s. Entrance pathways into the Talented and Gifted Program can include an advocacy method where teacher recommendations, student work samples in languages other than English and assessments beyond academic measures can be used for entrance into the program (see the district s TAG plan for more information). For supplemental supports through Title I, the district uses an MTSS model to support individual learning. Language instruction that supports EL s will be implemented. Special education services are also available to second language learners who show discrepancy from their peers in reading, math, writing and/or behavior. Great care is taken to ensure that if a discrepancy is present, it is not due to a language learning issue that ESL services are created to remedy. Special education is for learning disabilities, not second language learning delays. Curriculum and Supplemental Resources Curriculum used for the ESL program is personalized to student learning as it relates to the language learning needs. iready, the online reading and math resource that is prescriptive to standards that each student needs, is one piece of the curriculum. As student needs are assessed, the ESL teacher matches additional materials to those needs. Working with the Director of Teaching and Learning and building principals, additional materials are chosen by language learning approach, alignment to student need, and research base showing fidelity to implementation can be met.

4 Annual English Language Proficiency Assessment The ESL teacher is trained annually through AEA PD Online modules, webinars provided by the state, and regional ESL network meetings in the administration and interpretation of the state-approved English language proficiency assessment (ELPA21 as of Spring 2016). The teacher s certifications are kept in his/her personnel file kept in the business office. The results from the state assessment are shared with the parents and with the student s educational team within two weeks of their receipt to review the personalized learning plan and make adjustments. Connections between this assessment and other district assessments are considered in plan adjustments. Exiting the ESL Program To exit the ESL program, a student: 1. Achieves the required score for proficiency on ELPA21 2. Scores proficient on district-wide and/or state-wide assessments in Reading and Math (Use Iowa Assessments if available; use district-wide assessments if student is in a grade not tested by Iowa Assessments) 3. Meets both of the above criteria in the same school year Once the data show the student qualifies to exit from the program, the ESL teacher initiates the procedures to remove the student from ESL services. First, the ESL teacher notifies parents with state-approved TransAct exiting form in language most understandable to parents/families. Then tells the registrar to change the student information system student coding to exited. The student then begins the required two-year monitoring process facilitated by the ESL teacher and supported by the Director of Teaching and Learning. Two Year Monitoring after Exiting For two years after the exit from the ESL program, a student s progress in monitored for sustained academic growth. The monitoring process is done by the ESL Teacher, Jenny Stephens, and is made up of reviewing district wide assessment results in reading and math at least three times per year (fall, winter, spring). A student s sustained academic growth includes results that continue to be proficient and shows the expected growth similar to peers. Attendance data, progress on standards, and student work samples are also considered to ensure growth. Classroom teachers can also be interviewed to find out how students are doing in general education settings. If lack of growth is evident, first steps include using the MTSS model of the school to get additional help during seminar or enrichment periods. If growth is still not seen through progress monitoring tools and district wide assessments, then re-entry into the ESL program can be an option. A student educational team meeting would be called, if re-entry is an option. If the team, which includes Director of Teaching and Learning, building administrator, ESL teacher and classroom teacher, decides re-entry into the ESL program is required, parents would be notified of per entrance steps listed earlier in this plan. Staffing and Professional Development Highly qualified staff endorsed in English as a Second Language will teach the Van Meter Language Instruction Educational Program. The ESL teacher will utilize English Language Arts standards of the Iowa Common Core and English Language Proficiency standards to

5 deliver instruction. Annual training to appropriate staff will include understanding the ELP standards (all six modules on ELP standards are required by Fall of 2017) as well as data interpretation, using the data to guide instruction and ensure personalized learning for each student. Certificates of completion are housed in the business office personnel files for ESL teachers and support staff of ELL s. In-service training is provided for all staff involved in the educational process of ELLs with continuing training provided according to district s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. In addition, state conferences and regional networking conferences will be considered for additional PD for ESL staff. Building administrator oversees ongoing professional development as well as curriculum for LIEP. Each building principal along with the Director of Teaching and Learning, Jen Sigrist, oversees the ESL program and implementation of the LAU Plan. Program Evaluation Evaluating the ELL program s effectiveness and compliance will be determined by student achievement data as well as utilizing the ELL District Self Study Guide found in Appendix G (Pg ) of the Educating Iowa s English Language Learners Handbook.

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