English As a Second Language
Parents and guardians of each new student completes a Home Language Survey and a family interview as part of the enrollment process. The Home Language Survey and the family interview informs staff members whether or not a student might be a candidate for ESL services.
New students' English proficiency levels are assessed using the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) screener. WIDA is an organization that advances academic language development and academic achievement for children and youth who are culturally and linguistically diverse through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional learning for educators. The WIDA Screener is an English language proficiency assessment given to incoming students in Grades 1–12 to assist educators in identifying students as English language learners (ELs). WIDA Screener is available as either a paper-based or online assessment, and each student takes the screener under the guidance of a trained staff member (WIDA, 2018). The results of the WIDA Screener helps staff members provide the most appropriate placement and supports within the schools Language Instruction Educational Program.
Each year, ESL staff measure our English learners' language proficiency growth using the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Test. ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 is the WIDA Consortium’s suite of English language proficiency assessments. Each assessment tests students' language in four domains: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. ACCESS for ELLs meets U.S. federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for monitoring and reporting ELLs progress toward English language proficiency, and it measures an English learner's language proficiency growth from year to year (WIDA, 2018). Staff uses the results of the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Test to help inform and create the most appropriate placement and supports for an EL as they continue onto their next academic year. In some cases, the scores will indicate when an EL is ready to exit the ESL program.