Methacton School District
English Language Development Program Plan
Pennsylvania code § 4.26 declares that every school district shall provide a program for each student whose dominant language is not English for the purpose of facilitating the student’s achievement of English proficiency and the academic standards under § 4.12. ELs will develop proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills necessary for academic success and social interaction. Every instructor in the school district shares the responsibility of ensuring academic success for all our ELs.
Identification and Placement of ELs
A Home Language Survey (HLS) will be completed as part of the registration process for all students.
The student must be assessed for potential placement in the ESL program -- also known as English Language Development program (ELD) -- if the information provided on a student’s HLS indicates that a language other than English is spoken in the home.
The WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) is used to assess English language proficiency. Academic records and other assessments should also be used for placement decisions.
Students are exempt from formal English proficiency assessment if they meet two of the three following criteria:
- Final grades of B or better in core subject areas (math, language arts, science, social studies);
- Scores on district-wide assessments that are comparable to the Basic performance level on the PSSA/Keystone;
- Scores of Basic in Reading, Writing and Math on the PSSA/Keystone or an equivalent assessment from another state.
Parents will be notified of student assessment results and placement in an ESL/ELD program.
Planned Instruction for ELs
Planned instruction for English language acquisition should include daily instruction commensurate with the student’s proficiency level. PA Department of Education (PDE) guidelines are as follows:
Entering/Beginning (levels 1 & 2): 2 hours
Developing (level 3): 1-2 hours
Expanding (level 4): 1 hour
Bridging (level 5): up to 1 hour or support dictated by student need
ESL/ELD curriculum is aligned with Pennsylvania’s Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Standards, as well as with the Pennsylvania English Language Proficiency Standards. The ESL/ELD program is identified as general curriculum by the Pennsylvania State Code.
Planned instruction for ELs in content classes…
Grading of ELs
ELs will be graded using the same grading system as all other students. Instructional staff should assess ELs’ content knowledge at their level of language proficiency, using appropriate tests and accommodations.
All ELs will participate in the annual ACCESS 2.0 Language Proficiency Test.
All ELs will participate in the annual PSSA and Keystone assessments, with accommodations and exemptions permitted by the PDE.
Exit criteria for Pennsylvania’s English language instructional programs for ELs are established by the PA Department of Education. In order to meet the required state exit criteria, the district must use both of the required exit criteria listed below. In addition, students must meet one of the two additional exit criteria provided below to exit from the ESL/ELD program:
Required Exit Criteria:
- Score of BASIC on the annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) or Keystone Exams for math and literature.
- 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/Keystone.
- 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.
- Scores of 5.0 on a Tier C ACCESS 2.0 assessment (see Items A and B below for cutoff score flexibility)
- 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 2.0 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*
1-5 4.6-4.9 5.0 in each domain
6-8 4.7-4.9 5.0 in each domain
9-12 4.8-4.9 5.0 in each domain
* A student must score 5.0 in each domain (listening, speaking, reading and writing). A composite proficiency score will not be used.
- A score of PROFICIENT on the reading PSSA/Keystone Literature 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:
- Final grades of C or better in core subject areas (Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies).
- Scores on district-wide assessments that are comparable to the BASIC performance level on the PSSA/Keystone.
After exiting the ESL/ELD program, ELs are monitored for a period of two years. Periodic monitoring forms are completed by classroom teachers and submitted to the ESL department. ESL teachers review the students’ grades and performance on state assessments and any teacher observations.
ESL teachers will consult with classroom teachers and other school staff regarding any academic difficulties and make suggestions about strategies and supports. ELs who have met exit criteria may still need additional support and adaptions in their core content classes. Reclassification into the ESL program is considered only under the following circumstances:
- when a language-based need is clearly identified;
- all appropriate adaptations and interventions have been implemented but have not been sufficient for academic success.
Special Education / ELs with Disabilities
ELs may be eligible for special education. All procedures for screening, evaluation, IEP and the provision of services and/or instruction must be in compliance with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and PA Chapter 14 regulations.
The IEP team for an EL with disabilities should include an ESL professional familiar with the student’s language needs. "Limited English Proficiency" will be checked under special considerations in Part 1 of the IEP, and the student’s language needs will be addressed in the IEP.
ELs with disabilities will participate in all assessments, including the annual state English language proficiency assessment and the PSSA/Keystone (or PASA, if appropriate).
ELs with disabilities will maintain their EL designation until they meet all exit criteria set forth by the state.
All ESL teachers hold the certificates and endorsements required by the PDE, including the ESL Program Specialist designation.
The district offers professional development related to ESL?ELD for all district personnel as part of the Professional Development (Act 48) Plan.
A student may not be retained in a grade based solely on a lack of English proficiency. An EL can be retained only when all appropriate modifications have been made to instruction and assessment in order to allow the EL meaningful access to the general curriculum as well as to promote English language learning.
The district will periodically evaluate the ESL/ELD program to ensure that all components are aligned and working effectively to facilitate the acquisition of the English language and academic achievement defined by the PA academic standards.