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ESL Frequently Asked Questions


What is an English as a Second Language (ESL) program?
An ESL program is a school district’s plan for educating English Language Learners (ELLs) to improve their English language proficiency while meeting the academic standards in the content areas.  The program is designed to meet the varying needs of students in Kindergarten through 12th grade whose first language is not English or if another language is spoken in the home as indicated on the Home Language Survey.

How do I know my child qualifies for ESL?
Based on your child’s score on the language assessment, the ESL teacher will send a letter home to inform you if your child qualifies for ESL services or not.

My child speaks English. Why is my child being tested?
At registration, a Home Language Survey was filled out as required by the U.S. Federal Government’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.  If another language is spoken in the home, the level of English proficiency must be determined to see if your child qualifies for ESL services.

How long will my child be in ESL?
Most students are in the ESL program for a period of two to four years. However, it can take up to seven years to fully learn a new language.

What classroom instruction is my child missing while he/she is receiving ESL services?
At the Elementary, students are not pulled from direct instruction time with the classroom teacher. The ESL teacher may also provide instruction in the child’s regular classroom.
At the Middle School, newcomer ELLs are in ESL class instead of Literacy class.  Higher level ELLs may be pulled out of study hall for their ESL class.
At the High School, students may take ESL classes or Sheltered Instruction courses.

How does my child exit the ESL program?
A required statewide assessment is given annually to all ESL students to measure their level of English proficiency. When students have met the proficiency criteria on this assessment and are successful in their general education classrooms, your child will be exited from ESL.

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