English Language Development

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, Bahasa, Chinese, Croatian, Dinka, French, Greek, Gujurati, Hungarian, Igbo, Indonesian, Italian, Kinyamulenge, Kinyarwanda, Konkani, Korean, Nepali, Papiemento, Pashto, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Sinhalese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Telugu, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

The District offers ELD instruction in buildings where a significant EL population is present.  The following buildings have ELD programs: Cedar Cliff High School, Allen Middle School, New Cumberland Middle School, Fishing Creek Elementary, Highland Elementary, Hillside 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 WIDA Screener 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 Consultative
The ELD department provides instruction at two levels: direct instruction and consultative.  Students who qualify for direct instruction have ELD instruction provided by an ELD teacher. The frequency of the instruction depends on the language needs of the individual student. 

Additionally, students can receive support in other content classes such as mathematics, science, and social studies. 

Descriptions of Elementary, Middle, and High School Programs

At the elementary level, English Learners receive ELD instruction through a pull-out program typically during the literacy block.

At the middle school level, English Learners at lower proficiency levels receive ELD and ELA instruction through a sheltered program. Students at higher proficiency levels receive targeted ELD instruction during Academic Core Time (ACT).

At the high school level, three levels of ELD courses are offered as well as three levels of English courses taught be an English certified ELD teacher. Additionally, sheltered pre-algebra and U.S. history courses are offered to ELs meeting the criteria for inclusion. Flex time is available for all students needing additional support in content area.

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.

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