“The mission of the Lower Moreland Township School District (LMTSD) is to foster individual excellence in a nurturing environment by integrating a dedicated staff, an innovative curriculum, and community resources, while promoting respect for self and others.”
As part of that mission, the District strives to meet the needs of the diverse community. The ESOL program is an essential part of this community. The staff in the ESOL department works hard to ensure that students for whom English is not a first language are receiving the services and academic opportunities that make this district so special and unique.
Who are ELLs (English Language Learners)?
ELL students are important members of the Lower Moreland school community. They may have come to our ESOL program for many reasons. The reasons students are identified as ELLs may include:
-Previous education in a language other than English.
-Students born outside the U.S. whose native language is not English.
-Students who use a language other than English at home.
What is ESOL?
ESOL, English for Speakers of Other Languages, is a program to help students with English language issues achieve at their ability level.
What are the goals of the ESOL Program?
The ESOL program was created to meet state and district academic standards. These goals were created to help ELLs become proficient in English. Both academic and social language skills are taught in a supportive learning environment. In addition to these goals, ESOL teachers work to help students participate and achieve in the content classroom of their grade level.
How are students placed in the ESOL Program?
The District follows the regulations and guidelines stated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Information on these regulations and guidelines can be found by clicking here.
For students to be placed in the program, first they have to be identified as ELLs. Parents or guardians new to the District complete a Home Language Survey. (For more information on the Survey, follow the link:http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/measurements,_standards___policies/7531.
Based on the answers on the Home Language survey, the ESOL teacher will determine if testing for placement in the ESOL program is necessary. If so, the new students will take an English language test called the W-APT (WIDA-Access Placement Test). This test is sponsored by WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment -http://www.wida.us/). This test is used to measure students’ abilities in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The scores on this test determine if the students are placed in the ESOL program.
If students transfer from another school district in Pennsylvania, information from the previous school district will be used to determine if the students should be placed in the ESOL program. For example, results from the ACCESS test or a previous W-APT test will be used. If students did not attend a Pennsylvania school, other standardized test scores and grades can be used to determine placement in the ESOL program. If students enroll from a school outside the United States, they will be tested with the W-APT (http://www.wida.us/assessment/w-apt/).
The scores are based on the WIDA scale:
Students in kindergarten need to score a 5.0 or higher on the screening in order not to receive ESOL services. A letter will be sent to the students’ families informing them of placement.
Students in grades 1-12 with a composite score of 4.6 or above do not require ESOL services. Students with a score below 4.6 will be placed in the ESOL program. A letter will be sent to the students’ families informing them of placement.
What services will a student receive in the ESOL program?
Students placed in the ESOL program will receive instruction to meet their needs. The instruction includes skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The goal of the program is to assist the students in acquiring skills necessary to function in the content classroom. In addition, students receive support with their content classes.
Pine Road Elementary School
Students at the elementary school will be taught either by an ESOL teacher in the ESOL classroom (called “pull-out), by an ESOL teacher in the students’ content classroom (called “push-in”), or both. The amount of instruction depends on the students’ needs. Students at the “entering or beginning” level may receive up to 2 hours of instruction per day. Students at the “expanding” level may receive up to 1 hour per day.
Murray Avenue Middle School and Lower Moreland High School
Students in the middle and high school grades have 1-2 periods of ESOL instruction per day depending on their needs. Students at the “entering or beginning” level may receive up to 2 hours of instruction per day. Students at the “expanding” level may receive up to 1 hour per day.
The ESOL class is scheduled on their rosters, and the class meets every day at the same time. Students receive instruction in the ESOL classroom.
How do I know how my child is doing in the program?
Parents and guardians can see the student’s progress by checking his or her grades through the Parent Portal on the District’s web site (http://www.lmtsd.org/parents). In addition, parents and guardians are encouraged to contact the student’s ESOL teacher at any time with questions or concerns. The ESOL teachers and e-mail addresses are listed below:
Christina Rice –firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Stevenson –email@example.com
Murray Avenue and Lower Moreland High School
Denise McGarry –firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of each quarter, the students receive a grade on the report card, which is sent home. In addition, the students in the program must take the ACCESS test (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) once a year. The test is usually given from January to March. Scores from that test and scores from PSSAs (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment-http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pennsylvania_system_of_school_assessment_(pssa)/8757), along with grades from their content classes are used to determine if the students are ready to exit the program. (Scores from the Terra Nova test will be used for students in grades 1 and 2).
How does my child exit the program?
Pennsylvania Department of Education regulations state that:
Students must have:
1. A score of BASIC (or higher) on the PSSA (or Terra Nova for students in grades 1-2) and
2. A score of 5.0 (or higher) on the Tier C ACCESS test (kindergarteners must have a 5.0 on the ELLs Kindergarten assessment)
3. A “C” or better in all core subjects (language arts, math, science, and social studies)
In addition, ESOL teachers may recommend that a student remain in the program regardless of test scores if the student would benefit from continued services.
Once students have achieved the skills necessary to exit the program, the students are placed on “monitored” status.
What is “monitored status”?
When students leave the ESOL program, they are monitored for a period of two years, according to PDE regulations. This ensures that the child makes a smooth transition out of the program and back into content classes. Monitoring is done by the ESOL teacher and content area teachers. All teachers are in communication on a regular basis to be sure that the students are making progress in the content area. ESOL and content area teachers are required to complete a “monitoring form” four times a year to formally assess the students’ progress.
Important Information for Families
Attendance (absences) -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/495
Bus Information - http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/66
Food Services -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/60
Home Access Center -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/61
Parent Web Site -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/45
Student Registration -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/56
Student Web Site -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/46
Virtual Backpack -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/54
Important High School Web Sites
Bell Schedules -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/126
Guidance Office -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/113
Opening of School -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/530
Student Handbook -http://www.lmtsd.org//Domain/518