The West Shore School District’s Department of English Language Development (ELD) [formerly known as English as a Second Language or ESL] provides eligible students that are linguistically and culturally diverse with English language instruction and ensures compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. A student's English language proficiency and academic background, are taken into consideration in order to deliver appropriate English instruction as well as content support at their level.
Our goal for English Learners (ELs) is to become independent learners in a school environment. We help ELs gain proficiency in the English language by focusing on the development of academic skills in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We also strive to help ELs and their families successfully adapt to our district and culture while maintaining and valuing their own culture.
The population of ELs varies throughout the year. Our students represent many different cultures and their native languages include: Afar, Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cebuano, Cham, Chinese, Creole, Croatian, Dari, Dzonga, Farsi, Filipino, French, Gujarati, Hebrew, Japanese, Karen, Kinyarwanda, Lingala, Odia, Pashto, Persian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Visaya, and Vietnamese.
The District offers ELD instruction in buildings where a significant ELs population is present. The following buildings have ELD programs: Cedar Cliff High School, Allen Middle School, New Cumberland Middle School, Highland Elementary, Hillside Elementary, Lower Allen Elementary, Rossmoyne Elementary, and Washington Heights Elementary. In the event where an English learner moves into the attendance area of a building with no ELD program, the student is transferred to a building with an ELD program.
Eligibility for the ELD Program
Upon entry into the West Shore School District, families are required to complete a Home Language Survey. If a language other than English is noted, a district screener will contact the family and prior school district for additional information. If necessary, the student will complete the W-APT English language proficiency assessment to determine his or her level of English proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Parents will be notified of placement within thirty days if enrolled at the beginning of the school year, or within fourteen days if enrolled during the school year.
Direct Instruction and Support
The ELD department provides instruction at two levels: direct instruction and support. Students who qualify for direct instruction have daily ELA instruction provided by an ELD teacher.
Additionally, direct instruction students can receive support in other content classes such as mathematics, science, and social studies. Support students receive ELA instruction by a grade level teacher, but can receive support in all content areas as necessary.
Descriptions of Elementary, Middle, and High School Programs
At the elementary level, English learners receive ELA instruction through a pull out program. Direct instruction students receive instruction by a certified ELD teacher during their literacy block. Additionally, support in all content areas is available through multiple models. ELD aides push into content area classes to provide support and/ or students may leave their classrooms at designated times for additional support from the ELD teacher.
At the middle and high school levels, English learners receive ELA instruction through a sheltered program. ELs are assigned to an ELA class taught by an ELD teacher. Three levels of classes are offered: Level 1 (Beginner), Level 2 (Intermediate), and Level 3 (Advanced). Opportunities for support in all content areas are available during homeroom and Academic Advisory at the middle level and during flex at the high school level.
At all levels, content area teachers are responsible for modifying and adapting instruction and assessment.
For further information, please contact Dr. Ryan Argot, Director of Federal Programs, at 938-9577.