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English Learners



Overview and Vision
Our program strives to help students maintain their native language and acquire English language proficiency. We have a variety of different programs and services in our district that are provided for our second language learners (see below).

The program also works on providing culturally responsive instruction so that students understand diversity and acceptance of different cultures and backgrounds. We believe that instilling the importance of being bilingual and cultural identity can only help them flourish academically.

How does my child qualify for services?
When a new family enters the district, they will be required to fill out a Home Language Survey as part of the registration process. This form will ask two questions: Is a language other than English spoken at home? and Does your child speak a language other than English? If the answer is yes to either of these two questions, we are required to administer an English language proficiency screener. The results of the screener will help identify their English proficiency and if your child needs additional support. We also determine what types of programs would best suit your child’s needs to help them academically.

When will I find out if my child qualifies for services?
After screening, the English Learner (EL) teacher will discuss the results with you and may acquire further language background information. They will offer out types of program options for your child. You will also receive a parent notification letter via mail that further details the results and types of services your child will receive.

What types of programs does Zion ESD 6 offer to second language learners?
Based on the results of the screener or previous school’s ACCESS results, the EL Department and the school’s EL/Bilingual team will review the results and provide the best placement for your child. We offer a few different options as listed below:

  1. Transitional Bilingual Education Program (TBE) (self-contained classrooms)- Students whose native language is Spanish have the opportunity to be provided instruction in their native language in all/most of their core subject areas. Their grade level teacher is a certified bilingual teacher and the goal for the students is to acquire their native language academically while growing their English proficiency.
  2. Bilingual Resource- Students outside of the self-contained bilingual classroom may receive support from a bilingual (Spanish) certified teacher that pushes in or pulls out of their general education classroom. This teacher works with the classroom teacher to better support the student by providing additional support utilizing the native language while growing English proficiency.
  3. Sheltered Instruction- For our middle school students in the program, the students receive core instruction per subject by an EL/Bilingual certified teacher. The instruction and lessons are set up so students are learning the core material successfully while acquiring English proficiency.
  4. Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI)-Students whose language is other than Spanish receive additional support from an EL certified teacher. The teacher works with the classroom teacher to best suit the needs of the student by either pushing in or pulling out to provide additional support.

What if I do not what my child to receive EL/Bilingual support?
If you choose, after talking with the EL/Bilingual team about services, that you are still not interested in having your child in the program, you simply need to provide a written refusal letter. Students will not receive services from the EL/Bilingual program; however, they are required each year to take the annual state assessment, ACCESS, until the student meets the state exit criteria.

How or when does my child exit the program?
The child will take the annual state assessment called ACCESS (Accessing Comprehension and Communication in English from State to State). This assessment checks their social and academic English proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The child must receive an overall score of a 5.0 out of 6.0 scale, 4.2 in Writing and 4.2 in Reading. Once they receive all three exit scores, they are no longer considered an EL student by the state. As a district, we must monitor their performance for the next two years. If they need additional support, we will discuss serving them again.

My child is in the self-contained bilingual classroom, what happens once they meet the state exit criteria?
Our goal in the district is to build social and academic skills in English and Spanish. If your child meets the state criteria and should be exited per the state, we will highly consider keeping your child in the program in order to maintain their bilingualism.