The mission of the Deer Lakes School District English as a Second Language Program is to provide effective and age-appropriate English instruction in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and to support English language learners to achieve in all content areas.
The Deer Lakes School District provides a research-based ESL program for its students who are identified and assessed as English Language Learners (ELLS). The goals of this district's ESL program which are aligned with Pennsylvania English Proficiency Standards are the following:
- To increase the English language proficiency of eligibld students so that they can attain the academic standards adopted by the Board and achieve academic success. To have all identified students reach a level of proficiency in regards to the understanding and usage of the English language.
- To have all identified students attain the language skills necessary to meet the state academic standards.
- To have all identified students successfully participate in school, the community, and social activities.
- Placement in an instructional program that develops listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills with regular classroom support and accommodations to make the transition from limited language use to proficient use.
IDENTIFICATION OF ELLS
Pennsylvania Code (22 Pa. Code, section 4.26) requires that all students for whom responses to the Home Language Survey indicate that another language other than English is spoken in the home be assessed for potential placement in the program. (Certain criteria may exempt them from such assessment — please see the BEC included in the PDE Documents Section).
For newly enrolled students or students who do not come with records indicating that they are currently enrolled in an ESL program from another LEA, the building secretaries will review the Home Language Survey and any relevant documentation and notify the ESL teacher to determine whether assessment is necessary.
The State of Pennsylvania requires all LEAS to use the WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT). All individuals who ad minister this test must be certified through WIDA by taking the ACCESS for ELLS training on an annual basis. Proof of certification can be downloaded and printed and should be updated annually.
The following documents pertain to identification and assessment and should be part of the handbook:
- School/District Home Language Survey
- Background Questionnaire (if applicable)
- BEC— Educating Students with Limited English Proficiency and English Language Learners
- PDE instructions on Use of the WIDA-ACCESS for English Language Proficiency Screening