Monroe Public Schools English Language Learner Program Description and Guidelines Revised, Fall 2012

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1 Monroe Public Schools Language Learner Program Description and Guidelines Revised, Fall 2012 It is the policy of Monroe Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, religion, height, weight or marital status in its programs, services, employment, or any other activities. For information contact the office of the Superintendent of Schools, 1275 N. Macomb St., Monroe, MI 48162,

2 Table of Contents Mission Statement.. 3 Legal Requirements 3 Principles for Serving Students.4 Basic Program Goals (Monroe Public Schools Program) 5 Identification/Initial Assessment and Placement 6 Program Design..7 Program Components 8 Program Delivery..10 Elementary...10 Middle School 11 High School 12 Staffing..13 Materials 13 Professional Development 14 Communication With Parents..15 Program Exiting..15 Program Monitoring and Evaluation..16 Special Education and 17 Special Programs and Related Services 17 No Child Left Behind..18 Program Summary..20 2

3 Program Description and Guidelines Monroe Public Schools Mission Statement The mission of the Language Learner Program in the Monroe Public Schools is to provide instruction in as well as academic support to students who have difficulty reading, writing, speaking, listening to and comprehending, enabling them to become successful in the classroom, the overall school environment and the community at large. Legal Requirements The Office of Civil Rights within the United States Department of Education has responsibility for enforcing the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Under the USDOE s Title VI regulations, practices of discrimination which are prohibited, when based on race, color or national origin, include: providing services, financial aid, or other benefits that are provided in a different manner; restricting an individual s enjoyment of an advantage or privilege enjoyed by others; denying an individual the right to participate in federally assisted programs; defeating or substantially impairing the objectives of federally assisted programs. 3

4 These Title VI regulatory requirements have been interpreted to prohibit denial of equal access to education because of a student s limited proficiency in. Thus Title VI protects those students who are limited in their language skills such that they are unable to participate in, or benefit from, or special education school instructional programs. In the Supreme Court decision, Lau v Nichols, it is stated: There is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum for students who do not understand are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education Where inability to speak and understand language excludes national origin minority groups from effective participation in the educational programs offered by a school district, the district must take affirmative steps to rectify the language deficiency in order to open its instructional program to these students. Principles for Serving Students (Michigan Department of Education) 1. Selecting an Educational Approach It is the prerogative of each school district to select a specific educational approach to meet the needs of its particular population. A district may use any educational approach that is recognized as sound by some experts in the field, or an approach that is recognized as a legitimate educational strategy. In order to be in compliance with Title VI the approach selected must: a. Provide for language development b. Provide for meaningful participation of students in all of the district s educational programs. 2. Implementing the Educational Program Once a district has selected an educational approach, it needs to provide the necessary resources to implement the program. The variations in programs implemented by districts may be as diverse as the populations served by those districts. 4

5 3. Evaluating the Educational Program Under federal law, adopting an program with a sound educational design is not sufficient if the program as implemented proves ineffective. As a result, a central element of satisfying Title VI requirements regarding services for students is an ongoing evaluation of a district s program to make sure students are gaining in proficiency thus enabling them to participate meaningfully in the district s educational program. Basic Program Goals for the Monroe Public Schools Program Language Learners will: 1. use to communicate in social settings (TESOL). 2. use to achieve academically in all content areas (TESOL). 3. use in socially and culturally appropriate ways. 4. using modifications, be held to the same high standards established for all students. 5. develop full productive and receptive proficiencies in in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, writing and comprehension. 6. with appropriate accommodations, reach the challenging grade level expectations in all content areas including language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, health and physical education. 7. receive instruction that takes into account previous education and cognitive abilities and reflects their attained level of language proficiency. 8. be assessed with appropriate assessment tools that take into account their language acquisition stages and cultural backgrounds. 9. attain academic success through a shared effort of all educators, the family and the community. 10. be allowed equal access to all school activities. 5

6 Identification/Initial Assessment and Placement Language Learners will be identified through the use of the district Home Language Survey. After initial use of the survey with all of the district s students, completion of the Home Language Survey will be required of all new student registrants including kindergarten. If responses on the Home Language Survey indicate that the child s first language is not or a language other than is spoken in the home, building level personnel responsible for registering the student will forward the form to the Office of State and Federal Programs within three days. The student will then be scheduled for a language proficiency assessment which will take place within the next ten school days. The district assessment specialist will administer the test. The instrument used for assessing a student s language proficiency level will be Michigan s Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) Screener. The Woodcock- Munoz Language Survey may also be used if further information about the student s language proficiency is required. A student scoring below the proficient level on the ELPA screener will be eligible for district services. (There may be cases where a student could exceed these scoring requirements but still need assistance improving their language proficiencies. This student could also be identified as an Language Learner with documentation of need from the classroom teacher. Documentation could include classroom assessments such as Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarking assessments or other local common assessments.) Each spring, Monroe Public Schools will administer the full Michigan Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) to all identified students. Results of this state assessment become available prior to the start of the next school year and are used to help determine which previously identified students should continue receiving services and which may be exited from any programming, following the MDE Program Entrance and Exit Protocol. In accordance with Title III, parents will be notified of the status of their children annually within thirty days after the start of the school year. If they are newly identified during the school year, parents will receive notice within two weeks of the assessment. 6

7 Program Design The Monroe Public Schools Language Learner Program will provide services to identified Language Learner students in grades K-12 to assist them in achieving the overall goals of the program. The Michigan Language Proficiency Standards will provide the foundation for language acquisition and the academic development of identified students in the district. The school district is aware that second language acquisition, beyond basic communication skills, that allows students to learn academic content using, may take between five and ten years. It is understood that this time frame can also be impacted by the student s previous educational and social experiences. A number of different program components will combine to provide a program that meets the needs of all identified students in the district. Components will range from placement of the student in the education various and Scaffolding strategies implemented by the classroom teacher to withdrawal (or push in) from the classroom for intensive language instruction provided by a certified as a Second Language teacher. The design of the program will be flexible each year according to the numbers and levels of students enrolled at each building in the district. In addition to instruction by and specialized teaching staff, students may also receive additional support from district tutors, bilingual assistants when available, and community volunteers. 7

8 Program Components as a Second Language Instruction This instruction will take place outside the classroom or within the context of the classroom and will provide instruction using as the main language of delivery. Specialized ESL methodology will be utilized by a certified ESL teacher to assist students with skills including listening, speaking, reading, writing, comprehension, study skills, vocabulary and cultural orientation. Withdrawal from the classroom at the elementary and middle school levels will be temporary and flexible according to the language and academic needs of the student, with push in services utilized whenever possible. At the secondary level, students may be enrolled in an ESL credit course for a trimester or more if their language acquisition level requires such service. The ESL teacher will be an certified, ESL endorsed teacher. Bilingual Instruction When available and appropriate, bilingual assistance will be provided to students to help them acquire language skills while receiving academic subject assistance and/or instruction in their native language. This type of assistance will take place when bilingual assistants supervised by a bilingual endorsed teacher are available at any particular building. Classroom When students are participating in a classroom setting, the teacher will be encouraged to utilize various recommended accommodations and modifications necessary to meet the needs of the individual student. Teachers will use strategies that provide visual clues for content and specialized vocabulary development with use of graphic organizers, charts, word walls, labeling, illustrations and other methods that reduce the amount of text a student must use to achieve understanding of content. The certified ESL teacher will be a resource for ideas and strategies for modifications and accommodations in the classroom. The use of a approach will be utilized by classroom teachers and specialized teachers and tutors to make academic instruction in comprehensible to students. This approach plus other scaffold building techniques will be utilized as modifications in both the classroom and in special ESL activity. 8

9 Supplemental Tutoring Supplemental tutoring will be provided as available to provide additional instructional support to students at all levels. This component will utilize paid language tutors as well as community volunteers. The district will provide appropriate training, materials, and supervision of all language tutors utilized in the program. These six components will make up the basic program in Monroe Public Schools. The design and implementation of program components will remain fluid as to be able to meet the needs of the ever changing population of students. The following characteristics will continue as part of the program no matter what the particular components or delivery systems are: a program that encourages acceptance and support for all students active learning incorporated into any instructional design or technique an environment that is academically challenging with high expectations expert instructional leaders and teachers frequent student interaction through use of collaborative learning techniques teachers and principals with a high commitment to the educational success of all students involvement of majority and minority parents in formal parent support activities OCR Policy: The Office of Civil Rights recognizes that the district s program of services under its plan may have the effect of separating students who are from non- students during at least part of the school day. However, the program design should not separate students beyond the extent necessary to achieve the goals of the district s program of services. Additionally, students should be provided services in comparable facilities to those in which non- students receive services. 9

10 Program Delivery Elementary Levels Language Proficiency Levels 1-2 Language Proficiency Level 3-4 Language Proficiency Level 5 Preschool/ Kindergarten Grades 1 and 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 strategies strategies. Minimum 30 minutes a week for ESL instruction. strategies. Minimum 30 minutes a week for ESL instruction. strategies. Minimum 60 minutes a week for ESL instruction. strategies strategies strategies strategies monitoring. monitoring. monitoring. monitoring. 10

11 Grade 5 strategies. Minimum 60 minutes a week for ESL instruction. Strategies. monitoring. Program Delivery - Middle School Levels Language Proficiency Levels 1-3 Language Proficiency Level 4 Language Proficiency Level 5 Language Arts Mathematics Science Social Studies strategies. Minimum 60 minutes a week for ESL instruction Education with Education with Education with Education with monitoring monitoring monitoring monitoring 11

12 Program Delivery- High School Level Language Proficiency Levels 1-3 Language Proficiency Level 4 Language Proficiency Level 5 Language Arts Mathematics Science Social Studies Electives ESL instruction one period out of five accommodations as necessary monitoring monitoring monitoring monitoring monitoring modifications will be made for high school level students in courses required for graduation. Modifications will ensure that standards and benchmarks are taught with support from the ESL staff and the classroom teacher. 12

13 Staffing The initial staffing for the Monroe Public Schools Program will include one Michigan certified ESL teacher who will be responsible for the overall implementation of the program and one bilingual certified classroom teacher who will assist with supervision of district bilingual assistants and provide some direct instruction when students are assigned to this teacher s classroom. One or two part time district level tutors will be available for weekly tutoring assistance. All of these staff members and volunteers will be supervised by building and district level administrators, with specific responsibility for overseeing the Program placed with the Director of State and Federal Programs for the school district. Both the assistant superintendents for elementary and secondary education will also have oversight of the program and any curricular issues related to the program. These staff members plus the classroom teachers will work together to implement a program that is effective in helping students with both language proficiency and academic achievement. Materials In addition to supporting students in the use of classroom instructional materials, materials specifically designed for the development of language proficiency will be used by all staff members working in this program. Some of these materials include: picture dictionaries newcomer materials leveled texts and books computer applications bilingual materials first language textbooks picture cards content area picture dictionaries bilingual dictionaries electronic translating devices building level resource kits containing many of the items listed Other specific materials needed for supporting an program at any level and/or an ESL course at the secondary level would be provided. The district committee will be responsible for reviewing and selecting appropriate materials for any components of the instructional program. 13

14 Professional Development Even though the ESL teacher will provide direct instruction for many of the identified students in the district, much of the responsibility for student instruction will fall to the classroom teacher. classroom teachers will need to have an understanding of how to make appropriate accommodations based on the language proficiency level of the student, the length of time the student has been in this country and what educational experiences the student has had in the past. They must know how to assess these students appropriately based on the modifications and learning accommodations they have provided. The district will provide ongoing professional development opportunities for the classroom teachers to enable them to meet the needs of students in their classroom as described above. study groups will be a part of the elementary study group program. Opportunities for teachers to attend conferences and workshops related to instruction will be provided. The ESL teacher along with the district committee will advise administrators regarding what types of professional development are most needed in this area and how to best provide it on an ongoing basis. An Handbook has been developed for classroom teacher use also. The basic goals of professional development related to the program will be: 1. Enable teachers to develop skills in modifying instruction to meet the needs of students 2. Develop a collaborative relationship between any /ESL staff and the classroom teachers 3. Maximize the impact and effectiveness of limited resources 4. Improve learning accommodations for students 5. Expand the number of teachers annually who have an understanding of the needs of students 6. Familiarize teachers with the State of Michigan Language Proficiency Standards and how to implement them in the classroom 14

15 Communication with Parents State and federal regulations require districts to provide information about assessment and related academic achievement to parents of students in a language that they can understand. As required by Title III, when a student is identified as an student, the parent will be notified in writing of the status of their student. This notification will take place annually within thirty days after the start of the school year or within two weeks of a student being newly identified during the school year. The notice will include information about why the student was assessed and what services are available. The letter will give parents the option to decline any special assistance for their child and whom to contact about services. Individual student progress with proficiency and academic achievement goals will be reported to parents, in a language they can understand, on a basis throughout the school year. Notification about academic progress will at the minimum be commensurate with notices to parents of non- students regarding non- student progress. Parents of students will also be notified of any failure of the program to help their students make progress on annual proficiency and academic objectives. (Title III) Program Exiting The MDE Language Learner Protocol (2012) guidelines will be utilized for this process. 15

16 Program Monitoring and Evaluation OCR Policy: Districts are required to modify their programs if they prove to be unsuccessful after a legitimate trial. As a practical matter, recipients cannot comply with this requirement without periodically evaluating their programs. At the end of each school year the district committee will conduct an overall evaluation of the Program. The following items will be reviewed by the committee as a whole to determine how effective the program has been during that school year. The program s effectiveness with respect to identification, the assessment process, exiting, monitoring, staffing, parental notifications, and adequacy of instructional materials and staff development The rate of students progress toward full proficiency in How well students in the program are keeping up with their peers in all curriculum areas How well students are able to participate successfully in all of the school s programs as measured by graduation rates, academic achievement, awards, honors, sports and other extracurricular activities Comparison of state assessment test scores of exited students and non- students Whether students in the program have access to all of the district s programs including vocational and special education. Whether students in the program are being retained or are dropping out at rates similar to non- students Information sources may include MEAP test results, language proficiency test scores, teacher observations or feedback, local assessments such as the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarking, parental observations or feedback, records of program participation, grades in core classes, and retention and graduation rate data. Where this program evaluation shows deficits in the programming, the district will make modifications 16

17 accordingly. Recommendations made as a result of this program evaluation will be implemented within a reasonable amount of time after the evaluation by the district committee. Special Education and Monroe Public Schools does not place any student in a special education program based on his/her proficiency. The guidelines for special education are the same for both and non- students in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act. When necessary, arrangements may be made for available bilingual psychologists to administer testing instruments when it is determined that a special education evaluation is appropriate and the student s level of proficiency would not yield reliable test results. students identified as special education students may continue to receive services as determined by the students IEP. instruction would be provided by the teacher or accommodations would be made in the classroom by the classroom teacher. Special education services would be provided by appropriately qualified special education teachers. Special Programs and Related Services students will receive equal access to all district special opportunity programs. These programs include but are not limited to Title I and 31a at risk programming, content coaches, speech and other forms of special education, vocational and technical courses, gifted and talented instruction, and all extracurricular and nonacademic activities available to other students. The district assures that the selection or application process for special opportunity programs will not rely solely on measures of language proficiency. Monroe Public Schools will seek to provide assistance necessary for effective participation by students in these programs. 17

18 ESEA In establishing the program of instruction to be implemented, each district should take its individual circumstances into account. The fundamental Title VI requirement for students is that they have meaningful access to the district s educational program. Therefore, the goals for success for students should relate to the goals maintained for students throughout the district. Under federal law, programs to educate children with limited proficiency in must be: (1) based on a sound educational theory; (2) adequately supported so that the program has a realistic chance of success; and (3) periodically evaluated and revised, if necessary. These are fundamental principals under federal law. The laws, court decisions, and educational policies of the U.S. federal government, and the Michigan State government guarantee the following basic rights to students: Right to freedom from discrimination Right to education programs which are responsive to students language needs and provide meaningful educational experiences District and school s obligation to protect rights of students Rights of parents/guardians of students Right to appropriate special education testing and programs 18

19 Program Summary Identify the Student Administer the Home Language Survey File results in cumulative record folder Assess Language Proficiency of possible s Assessment and Placement of Students Assess identified s for instructional needs Place students in appropriate instructional program Assess students for advancement in proficiency levels or program exit Implement the Program Hire and train staff to implement the program Provide quality instruction utilizing an educationally sound program Notify parents of program options and school activities Evaluate the Program Conduct periodic evaluations of program effectiveness Identify program deficiencies Make modifications to the program Improve the program 19

20 Resources for this Document State Manual: to assist school districts in their work with students of limited proficiency. Michigan Department of Education, Office of School Improvement, December Guidelines for the Identification and Assessment of Limited Proficient Students. Ohio Department of Education, October No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Title III Language Instruction for Limited Proficient and Immigrant Students Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964 Lau v. Nichols, 1974 Programs for Language Learners, Resources for Planning and Self- Assessments. U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, November, Key NCLB Proficiency Requirements, North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), Programs for Language Learners, Pennsylvania 3044 Program. Pennsylvania Department of Education, ESL Program Description and Guidelines, Kennett Consolidated School District, Pennsylvania, Jackson Public Schools, Language Learner Program, Michigan, ESL Standards for Pre-K-12 Students, Teachers of to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. Alexandria, Virginia, Language Arts, Language Proficiency Standards for K-12 Schools, Michigan Department of Education/Michigan State Board of Education,

21 Office of Civil Rights Review Areas for Services Should the OCR visit the district to review services provided by the district as a result of a complaint or a random review, the following questions will be addressed as they relate the protection of students under the U.S. Department of Education s Title VI (Civil Rights Act of 1964) regulations and the U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Lau v. Nichols (1974) and Castaneda v. Pickard(1981) 1. What is the district s method of identifying students? 2. Does every student in the district have a Home Language Survey on file? 3. Is the student assessed for reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension? 4. What are the minimal service levels provided by the district? 5. What are procedures for transiting and exiting service programs? 6. How are students monitored after leaving a program? Questions will also be asked regarding the soundness and effectiveness of services offered and how these services are evaluated and modified. NOTE: If a parent refuses services or modifications for their child, this does not relieve the district from the need to make instructional adjustments and provide assistance to the student. 21

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