English Language Learner Program
Pike Township welcomes all students from all language, cultural, and national backgrounds. The primary goal of Pike Township’s English Language Learners (ELL) Program is to assist students’ in their learning to read, write, speak, and listen in English. At the same time, English learners are learning the same curriculum and grade-level content as their native English-speaking peers. The Pike ELL Program supports students in acquiring English in both social and academic settings. It is critical that Pike English Language Learners program assists ELLs to understand and use academic language so that they are successful in all academic areas. It is also important that the Pike ELL Program supports social adjustment and cross-cultural understanding.
Home Language Survey
To determine if a student qualifies as an English learner and receives services through the ELL program, a Home Language Survey (HLS) is completed during the enrollment process. The HLS ask three questions about the student’s native language, language spoken at home, and language spoken most often. If any one of these three questions is answered with a language other than English, then the student is given an English language proficiency assessment called the WIDA Screener. The results of the WIDA Screener provide an overall English proficiency level from 1.0 to 6.0. If a student’s proficiency level is 1.0 to 4.9, then the student qualifies to receives services through the ELL program and will participate in the WIDA ACCESS assessment every year until the students scores a proficient level of 5.0 to 6.0. If a student scores a proficiency level of 5.0 to 6.0 on the WIDA Screener, then the student is considered English proficient and will not receive services through the ELL program.
The MSD of Pike Township employs certified, preferably English as a Second Language-endorsed teachers to provide direct ELL instruction to students, support general education teachers in meeting the needs of English learners, and to ensure compliance with state and federal guidelines for English learner programs at the school building level. The Academic Support Specialist at the district level supports school building staff and administrators with professional development, compliance, and program component implementation. Pike Township employs bilingual Spanish-English interpreters to assist students, teachers, and families with enrollment, access to services, conferences, and other communications between family and school. As needed, Pike Township contracts with interpreters of other languages via phone or in-person language services to meet the diverse language needs of the school community.
English learner students enrolled in M.S.D. of Pike Township schools have equal access to the full range of district programs, including special education, Title I, high ability programs, and nonacademic and extra-curricular programs. WIDA English Language Development Framework is used to design instruction, learning activities, and assessments for ELLs. All educational personnel must assume responsibility for the education of English learner students. The amount and time of direct ELL instructional services are based on individual student needs and grade level (elementary, middle, high school). The ELL students’ schedules are created in collaboration with classroom teachers, ELL teachers, specialists, and other building personnel. In elementary schools, ELL services could include push-in or pull-out services, sheltered instruction, structured immersion, and/or content-based English language development. In middle schools and the high school, ELL services can include content-based English language development or sheltered instruction in general education classes, English language development courses, and/or Newcomers Structured Immersion Programs. Students in middle and high school also have the option to utilize ELL resource classes for help with assignments, assessments, and projects in other content areas.
English Language Learners in grades 3-8 must take ILEARN which is an annual standardized assessment. English learners in 3rd grade take the IREAD 3 standardized assessment as required by the state. High school students must pass required exams, complete a graduation pathway, or obtain a waiver at the end of their senior year in order to graduate. Students also participate in other appropriate assessments required by the district and classroom teachers. English learner students are provided allowable and appropriate accommodations during all assessments. Additionally, ELL students are also required to participate in WIDA ACCESS testing each year. WIDA ACCESS measures English language acquisition and the overall, composite score determines a student’s limited English proficiency (LEP) level. Once a student scores a level 5 on this annual assessment, they are considered fully English proficient (FEP), are no longer required to participate in annual WIDA ACCESS testing, and are exited from ELL services.