Upper Perkiomen School District Pennsylvania 3044 ESL Program Narrative

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1 Upper Perkiomen School District Pennsylvania 3044 ESL Program Narrative 1. Program Goals and Objectives Academic Goals Goal 1: Students will use English to communicate in social settings Standard 1. Students will use English to participate in social interactions. Standard 2. Students will interact in, through, and with spoken and written English for personal expression and enjoyment. Standard 3. Students will use learning strategies to extend their communicative competence. Goal 2: Students will use English to achieve academically in all Content areas Standard 1. Students will use English to interact in the classroom. Standard 2. Students will use English to obtain, process, construct, and provide subject matter information in spoken and written form. Standard 3. Students will use appropriate learning strategies to construct and apply academic knowledge. Goal 3: Students will use English in socially and culturally appropriate ways Standard 1. Students will use the appropriate language variety, register, and genre according to audience, purpose, and setting. Standard 2. Students will use nonverbal communication appropriate to audience, purpose and setting. Standard 3. Students will use appropriate learning strategies to extend their communicative competence. Social and Cultural Goals The ESL program will: Orient students to the cultural patterns of American life so they can fully participate in classroom, school, and community activities Develop students' awareness of cultural diversity and encourage pride in their own bilingualism and biculturalism Provide a school environment that understands the growth and development patterns of the ELLs Provide students with a knowledge of American culture so that they may participate more fully in the academic, social, and cultural activities of our school, community, and nation Assist students in developing insights into their own language and culture by recognizing that different languages use different patterns to communicate and that cultures view situations from varying perspectives Involve parents in their student s education 2. Identification of ELLs & Orientation Procedures for ELLS and Parents

2 UPSD registration personnel have all been in serviced by the Montgomery County IU ESL Consortium programs on the proper procedures for welcoming and registering an ESL student and his/her family. We are a smaller district and therefore can offer a lot of personal attention to these families. The certified ESL teacher in each building is notified as soon as possible and often is able to assist the registering personnel in the registration process, right from the first steps. UPSD schools make frequent use of Language Line, which is a translation service available through our participation in the MCIU ESL Consortium. Many documents are made available in the family s first language through Transact, which our ESL teachers have been trained to use. If translation is needed in a language not available through Transact, we have Language Line and the ESL Consortium as a resource for translators, as well as a number of community organizations who have presented their translation services to the Consortium. The school nurse and the office staff are fully aware that the only requirements for registration of a student in a Pennsylvania public school are an immunization record and residency in the district. The district may ask parents for additional information that is helpful in meeting the student s educational needs, but it is not appropriate to withhold the student from school for lack of this additional information, including a social security number or birth certificate. Districts are required to provide information about assessment and related academic achievement to parents in their native language. Transact and Language Line makes this possible, as well as our own list of qualified adult translators. If translation is needed in a language not available through Transact, we refer to Language Line, the ESL Consortium s list of translators as well as our own list of translators. From the first moment that a UPSD certified ESL teacher meets a registering ESL student or a PHLOTE, she/he personalizes the parent orientation process. We may spend time with the family, give school tours, answer questions, and share valuable community information. Through frequent phone calls and an open door policy in our schools and ESL classes/offices, we are able to explain the educational process in our district, walk them through our grading program, and describe the homework and behavioral expectations, as well as the importance of attendance. The district has the PaELL Parent Welcome video in Spanish with English subtitles available to show families. The district also has incorporated several ESL family gatherings each year. ESL families are invited to come and join other ESL families in a social time to build friendships, ask questions, and become comfortable in THEIR school. Families are encouraged to bring cultural food and/or items to help educate the group and share cultural pride. The ESL teachers try to plan these gatherings to coincide with other district/school special events to help encourage our ESL families to participate in district events. According to the July 2001 BEC, a Limited English Proficient Student is one who: A. 1. Was not born in the United States or whose native language is other than English and comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant

3 2. Is a Native American or Alaska Native who is a native resident of the outlying areas and comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on such an individual's level of English language proficiency; or 3. Is migratory and whose native language is other than English and comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and B. Has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language and whose difficulties may deny such individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English or to participate fully in our society. All students entering Pennsylvania public schools must be assessed for limited English language deficiencies through the administration of a home language survey. UPSD utilizes the most current Home Language Survey from PDE which includes these four questions: 1. What is/was the student s first language? 2. Does the student speak a language(s) other than English? (Do not include languages learned in school.) Yes No If yes, specify the language(s): 3. What language(s) is/are spoken in your home? 4. Has the student attended any United States school in any 3 years during his/her lifetime? Yes No If yes, complete the following: Name of School State Dates Attended UPSD stores the results of this Home Language Survey in the permanent folder of every student. If one of the answers to these three questions is a language other than English or the country of origin is other than the United States, further assessment is necessary. Once a student has been identified as one whose primary home language is other than English (PHLOTE), an assessment must be made of his/her English proficiency. 3. Assessment of ELLs to determine instructional placement

4 UPSD uses multiple criteria at all stages of language proficiency assessment and instruction. Assessment is used to: Properly identify students and their proficiency levels Place students at the right levels of service Monitor their progress Improve programming Determine when ESL is no longer needed Using multiple criteria we assess the following information: Can the student participate in the oral language of a mainstream class? Can the student read and write English at levels similar to his or her English-speaking classmates? Does the student need an ESL program? If the student needs a program, what should his or her placement be? Does the student read and write the native language at grade level? Are the student's academic skills near grade level in the native language? What specific aspects of English grammar or vocabulary does the student lack? Is the student progressing in oral or written English? UPSD personnel administer the W-APT for English Language Proficiency to all PHLOTES. Along with the results from the W-APT, multiple criteria are used to place a student in ESL and to determine the type of program that would facilitate their greatest success. The certified ESL teacher consults with the guidance staff, the reading specialists, special ed staff, and classroom teachers/ special area teachers of the ESL student, on an as need basis. UPSD sends home parent letters informing families about the W-APT, the results of the W-APT along with other multiple criteria, and the placement of the student. The ACCESS is administered annually to all ESL students. Multiple criteria such as teacher input, guidance input, report cards, family input, classroom observations, student interviews, as well as formal assessments such as the PSSA and the ACCESS are some of the criteria used to determine when it is appropriate to enter, advance, and exit a student from the ESL program. Exit Criteria for Pennsylvania s English Language Instructional Programs for English Language Learners The exit criteria provided below for English Language Learners (ELLs) represent valid and reliable evidence of a student s English language proficiency to exit from an English language instructional program. Every LEA must include the following exit criteria in the LEA Program Plan for ELLs. In order to meet the required state exit criteria for Pennsylvania s English language instructional programs for ELLs, LEAs must use both of the required exit criteria listed below. In addition, LEAs must ensure

5 that students meet one of the two additional exit criteria provided below to exit from an English language instructional program: Required Exit Criteria: 1. Score of BASIC on the annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: For students transferring from other states, out-of-state academic achievement assessment results may be considered when the academic proficiency level is comparable to BASIC on the PSSA. For students that are in a grade that is not assessed with the PSSA, LEA s must use each of the remaining criteria listed below to exit students. 2. Scores of 5.0 on a Tier C ACCESS for ELLs assessment (see Items A and B below for cutoff score flexibility) A. Following the scoring criteria in the table below, the W- APT may be administered between April and June to students who scored below the minimum cutoff for program exit on the January administration of the ACCESS in order to demonstrate sufficient progress to justify exit. NOTE: The W-APT may ONLY be administered to a student once in any school year. Grade Level ACCESS Score Required W-APT Scores* K in each domain in each domain in each domain * A student must score 5.5 in each domain (listening, speaking, reading and writing). A composite proficiency score will not be used. B. A score of PROFICIENT on the reading PSSA can be used along with all other required criteria outlined in this policy to justify exit for students who achieve a composite proficiency score of 4.5 to 4.9 on the January administration of the ACCESS. In this case, W-APT scores are not necessary to demonstrate progress from the time of ACCESS administration to the end of the school year. Additional Exit Criteria:

6 1. Final grades of C or better in core subject areas (Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies). 2. Scores on district-wide assessments that are comparable to the BASIC performance level on the PSSA. UPSD has a monitoring tool for exited students. These students are monitored for two years after they have exited the ESL program. These students are monitored for two years after they have exited the ESL program. Multiple criteria continue to be used to assess if the student is performing on level with his/her peers. Re-entering a student into the ESL program is an option that is always available, should the multiple criteria of classroom teacher input, report cards, parent concerns, guidance concern, administrative concerns, classroom observation, and student interviews prove that this would facilitate greater success for an exited student. Monitored students do not participate in the ACCESS and they are not reported as ELLs in the state LEP reporting system. 4. Instructional Program A. Type of Program English as a Second Language A program of techniques, methodology, and special curriculum designed to teach ELLs English language skills, including listening, speaking, reading, writing, study skills, vocabulary, and cultural orientation. ESL instruction is usually in English with little use of native language. Sheltered English Instruction An instructional approach used to make academic instruction in English comprehensible to ELL students. In a sheltered classroom, teachers use physical activities, visual aids, and the environment to teach vocabulary for concept development in mathematics, science, social studies, and other subjects. Structured English Immersion Program The goal of this program is acquisition of English language skills so that the ELL student can succeed in an English-only class. All instruction in this type of program is in English. Teachers have specialized training in meeting the needs of ELL students, possessing either a bilingual education or ESL teaching credentials or training, and receptive skills in the students' primary language. B. Planned Instruction and Standards While districts are allowed to develop a program unique to their needs, legal requirements necessitate a research base for program design and activity. According to Lucas, Henze & Donato, 1990; Tikunoff et al 1991; Pease-Alvarez, Garcia & Espinosa, 1991; and Garcia, 1991, the following characteristics of an effective program for ELLs have been identified by researchers:

7 1. A school climate centered on acceptance and support for all students 2. Active learning incorporated into the instructional design 3. Environments that are academically challenging and have high expectations 4. A commitment to staff development programs which assist ALL teachers (not just ESL teachers) in providing effective instruction to language minority students 5. Expert instructional leaders and teachers 6. An emphasis on functional communication between teacher and students and among fellow students 7. Organization of the instruction of basic skills and academic content around thematic units 8. Frequent student interaction through the use of collaborative learning techniques 9. Teachers with a high commitment to the educational success of all students 10. Principals supportive of their instructional staff and teacher autonomy while maintaining an awareness of district policies on curriculum and academic accountability 11. Involvement of majority and minority parents in formal parent support activities Through the Anti- Bully program, school wide thematic units, district wide programs like Culture Grams, district wide use of cooperative learning, administrative and parent support, differentiated instruction, and awareness of multiple intelligences, our Blue Ribbon School district is well on its way to meeting these research criteria. UPSD language instruction for English Language Learners is an academic discipline that is designed to teach English language learners social and academic language skills as well as the cultural aspects of the English language necessary to succeed in an academic environment and contribute to society. It includes teaching listening, speaking, reading, and writing at appropriate developmental and proficiency levels with little or no use of the native language. Courses of study are correlated to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Our certified ESL teachers are guided by the Language Proficiency Standards for English Language Learners that were approved in The UPSD ESL programs provide ELLs with instruction appropriate to second language acquisition. C. Allocated time in ESL instruction and adaptations/accommodations or modifications in content classes According to the July 2001 Basic Education Circular (BEC), Educating Students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and English Language Learners (ELL) 22 PA Code 4.26, the amount and type of standards based ESL instruction depends upon the level of language development as determined by the results of the initial assessments from the W- APT and the ACCESS. UPSD determines individually where a student falls into the recommended daily times for ESL instruction, and then using best practices, creates a unique program for each member of its small ESL population. Recommended daily ESL instruction: Non-English speaker - two to three hours per day Beginner - two hours per day Intermediate - one to one and quarter hours per day

8 Advanced - one hour per day Students who have exited - support two to three times per week Based on the PA Language Proficiency Standards for English Language Learners that were approved in 2005, and as we await the updated version of the BEC, we have approximated daily ESL instruction: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Exited 2-3 hours per day 2 hours per day hours per day 1 hour per day.5 hours per day 2-3times/week Students are scheduled in content area classes with instruction aligned to the standards and adapted to their needs. These adaptations are done through scaffolding instruction through best practice use of visuals, realia, TPR, physical props and handouts, group work, etc. 5. Student Participation in Related and Extracurricular Activities Including Gifted Education Students with limited English proficiency may participate in all the federal or other programs available within the school for which they qualify. Collaboration among programs to provide services to students should maximize the benefits to the students. Students must have access to and should be encouraged to participate in all aspects of the academic and extracurricular opportunities available in the district. (BEC, July 2001) UPSD ELL students are eligible for gifted education or any other program that is available to all students in the school district and for which they quality. UPSD ESL students are assured equal access to all aspects of the academic and extracurricular programs in the school district including gifted education due to the frequent contact our ESL teachers have with all ESL families. As students or families indicate an interest in an activity or a staff member or teacher feels that an ESL student would gain from a school activity, then the option is clearly presented to the student and family in the form of a private invitation. The student and family have already received the same information about participation as the entire district has received, but now they also receive the chance to pursue detailed questions and concerns. Many steps, such as contacting coaches, working with community offices to help fulfill required paper work, etc., are taken to clear the way for UPSD ESL students to participate in district activities. The certified ESL teachers are passionate advocates for our ESL population. 6. Pupil Personnel Services

9 A. Counseling UPSD ELLs have equal access to all school programs; therefore, counseling services and other school services are also available to them. The ESL teachers provide or direct ELLs to counseling services and school programs that address issues related to adjustment to a new culture and placement in the school program with peers despite gaps in English proficiency and/or content knowledge. B. Special Education According to the BEC, July 2001: Students who are English language learners may be eligible for special education services once it has been determined that the disability exists and this disability is not solely due to lack of instruction or proficiency in the English language. Then, the established procedures and timelines for determining the disability and developing the IEP must be followed. All English language learners eligible for special education services whether in district or in intermediate unit classes must continue receiving ESL instruction at the appropriate proficiency and developmental level. Communication with parents of English language learners being considered for special education placement, who may be English language learners themselves, must be clear and presented in a mode and language they understand. It is the responsibility of the school district to ensure that parents are aware of all the options available to them. The participation of English language learners in vocational-technical education classes and programs is not determined by their level of English language proficiency. English language learners should have access to any course of study available. It is the responsibility of the program to make the necessary accommodations. Vocational students who are English language learners must be provided ESL instruction appropriate to their level of proficiency. C. Other Related Services Along with the many programs that each UPSD guidance program offers, UPSD also works with Youth and Family Services, The Lincoln Center, and such programs as Diversity Day, Peace and Harmony Fair, and a before school program through YFS called Project Enable. 7. Staff Development Related to Program A. ESL Program Staff UPSD is part of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit ESL Consortium and therefore participates 100% in all trainings offered for staying current on ESL issues. UPSD certified ESL teachers also attend the PDE trainings offered through PaTTAN in King of Prussia. B. Non-Program Professional Teaching Staff According to the BEC, July 2001: If a school district has students with limited English proficiency enrolled, its Act 48 Professional Development Plan must include opportunities for district personnel in areas related to the education of students with limited English proficiency such as: cultural

10 information, second language acquisition, adapting/modifying classroom instruction, and appropriate assessment practices. According to the memo regarding the Amendment to Professional Education Plan Guidelines from Thomas P. Carey, Ed.D., (September 2000), the April 2000 Professional Education Plan Guidelines have been amended as follows: If a school entity has enrolled students with limited English proficiency and/or students who are English language learners, the Professional Education Plan must include programs, activities or learning experiences for professional staff to assure that programs offered to the students are based on sound educational theory; are effectively implemented; and result in successfully removing language barriers. The professional education offerings must be available to all teachers. The requirement above is effective immediately. Therefore, if a district has limited English proficient students and has already submitted a professional education plan, the plan must be amended as required. Plans that have not been submitted must include the provision. According to the BEC, July 2001: The impact of the new culture on the student and the student s culture on the school will pose a challenge for everyone. Providing orientation and factual cultural information for everyone in the school will help to alleviate the most serious of culture clashes. Our participation in the Montgomery county IU ESL Consortium allows us to access much training each year both for our ESL staff, our non-esl professional staff, as well as our non-professional/support staff. UPSD ESL teachers work very closely with ESL families, guidance, teachers, and administrators, and non-professional staff to stay ahead and on top of any cultural clashes that may be causing challenges. Through the MCIU, we have used Title III money to purchase the online Culture Gram program that is available to every student in our district, both at home and at school. Students and staff have easy access to online Culture Grams, through a link on the district library page. C. Non-Professional/Support Staff Providing appropriate staff development to UPSD non-professional and support staff that interacts with ELLs and their parents is key. Our participation in the Montgomery county IU ESL Consortium allows us to access much training each year both for our ESL staff, our non-esl professional staff, as well as our non-professional/support staff. Nonprofessional staff members were sent to trainings at the IU to help them understand the laws and the procedures appropriate for ESL student registration. The UPSD program is based on sound educational theory. Our school board has approved district policy that mandates that these staff development programs will be available to all teachers. 8. Community Involvement A. Program Planning According to the BEC, July 2001: All information disseminated to the students and their parents must be provided in

11 a language or mode preferred by the parents. If use of the standard report card is the selected option or if the parallel version is developed, the information provide therein should be in the language understood/read by the parents. Federal regulations require districts to provide information about assessment, academic achievement and related issues to parents in their native language or in their preferred mode of communication. This means that it is the district s/charter school s responsibility to provide for translation and interpretation services. District/charter schools should make every effort to provide an orientation to parents as well as to the students. The orientation should include basic school information, a description of the ESL or bilingual education program, what content classes the student will attend, what special programs are available, homework and attendance policies and district-wide assessment practices and procedures. Expectations for participation and behavior should be clear to all involved. B. Communication with Students Homes UPSD is still a very non-diverse population which means that we continue to have a very small ESL student population. This situation allows the certified ESL teachers of UPSD the freedom to call their ESL students homes frequently. For many of the ESL teachers, notices, letters, phone calls, s, home visits, and/or school visits are on a weekly basis with the ESL families. We are also very proud of our extremely high rate of ESL family attendance at out fall and spring ESL Family Dinners. C. Program Advisory Committee The four certified ESL teachers in our district work very closely to create opportunities for our ESL families and students to be involved in the community. Through multi building dinners and field trips, students and families are given opportunities to experience American culture and mix with different groups of people. They have worked with the Culture Club ESPERONTO at the high school and collaborated with the foreign language department and the cultural advisor. They continually work with their ESL Consortium colleagues. ESL families have been invited to share, speak, and instruct groups about their culture. They are often solicited for their input on the ESL program and activities. D. Complaint Resolution Process The UPSD open door policy has already been used by a many of our ESL families. Many families at different times have had concerns and they have availed themselves of the open door policy to access administrators, guidance counselors, nurses, classroom teachers and ESL teachers via letters, s, phone calls, and in person meetings. Many of these meetings have been initiated from the school side to help facilitate a higher level of success for a student. Clear communication at the ESL Family Dinners and our ESL teachers being in constant communication with the families has proved very successful in resolving any and all concerns.

12 E. Developing Community Involvement We have a very high rate of ESL family participation in our fall Middle School Meet the Staff Nights and our spring Middle School Open House nights. Every family is invited to join our PTFS parent organization in the fall. This invitation goes out to every family in the fall newsletters. 9. Program Evaluation Procedures According to the BEC, July 2001: Any program that is implemented must, at minimum, meet a three-prong test mandated by federal law (Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI, Castaneda v. Pickard, 648 F. 2d 989 (1981). The program must be: (1) based on sound educational and language learning theory; (2) implemented with sufficient resources and staffed by appropriately prepared personnel; and (3) periodically evaluated. A program that fails to produce positive results does not meet the test. The Office of Civil Rights adheres to the following criteria when assessing a program: Program Evaluation Criteria Utilized by the Office of Civil Rights 1. Is the program effective with respect to the identification, assessment process, exiting, monitoring, staffing, parental notification, and adequacy of facilities, instructional materials, staff development and training? 2. Are PHLOTE students who are determined not to be eligible for the alternative language program succeeding in the regular program? 3. What is the rate of students' progress towards full proficiency in English? 4. Are students in the program keeping up with their peers in other curriculum areas? 5. Are students in the program able to participate successfully in the school's full curriculum, as determined by such measures as graduation rates, scholastic achievement, awards, and honors as well as in sports and other extracurricular activities? 6. How do the standardized test scores of exited students compare to non-ells? 7. Do students in the program have access to all the district's programs, including vocational education, gifted and talented programs, and special education? 8. Are students in the program being retained in grade and dropping out at rates similar to non-ells? Components for Evaluation: Program Implementation Practices (in both English proficiency and content areas) - Identification of potential ELL students - Assessment of English language proficiency

13 - Provision of adequate resources - Professional development - Equality of opportunity - Transition criteria Student Performance (in both English proficiency and content areas) - Student progress in English language acquisition - Student academic progress consistent with district standards for all students Tools for evaluating ESL Program: -ELL database -Rate of participation in extra curricular activities -Rate of graduation -Rate of withdrawal -Rate of drop outs -Rate of identification for special education Procedure: 1. Collection of information on program effectiveness 2. Identification of any program deficiencies 3. Implementation of modifications and improvements to address deficiencies 4. Periodic evaluations of program effectiveness Ongoing evaluation of UPSD ESL programs ensures that the district will promptly identify and address concerns within the program.

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