English Language Development

  • Students' attainment of English language proficiency and successful performance within content area classes are primary goals of the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. Essential elements also include sensitivity and attention to cultural factors while helping English Language Learners (ELL) establish meaningful relationships and adjust to new learning environments. Standards-based ESL instruction is key to the delivery system in helping students reach these goals. The K-8 ESL program of the Fox Chapel Area School District is provided through contracted services with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. The 9-12 ESL program is provided through the services of a high school teacher who is a district employee. Close coordination between the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's (AIU) and the district's ESL services provides for a well articulated program. The district acknowledges the support for the design of services by the AIU. Ideas set forth by this descriptive narrative reflect the K-12 ESL program services provided. The program emphasizes language acquisition skills necessary for students to participate successfully in content area classes. ESL instruction addresses the ESL and Pennsylvania Academic Standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening to enable student's full participation in the educational program. The emphasis placed on various benchmarks is adjusted to the needs of the individual student. An inherent goal of the program is to provide support to the student in his/her transition to the new culture and school setting. ESL teachers work to develop an appreciation of their students' strengths within the school setting and to ensure full access to the range of educational opportunities available in the schools.

COVID-19 ACCESS for ELLs Assessment Plan 2021 If Fully Virtual

  • Context

    The Covid-19 pandemic has created a fluid educational environment where districts, including our own, are moving back and forth among different modes of instruction including, 5-day fully in-person, hybrid, or 2-day in-person, and fully virtual.  The federal government has not waived the requirement for annual ACCESS for ELLs assessment nor has it allowed for testing virtually.  For that reason, this plan is meant to guide the district in preparing for ACCESS for ELLs assessment if students are in a fully virtual instructional environment.

    ACCESS Assessment Window

    • Jan 4, 2021 - March 19, 2021

    When will the ACCESS for ELLs assessment take place?

    • The ACCESS for ELLs annual assessment will take place between January 4, 2021 and March 19, 2021.  Your child’s English Language Development teacher will determine the specific date for the assessment and inform you of that date and time.  It is likely that the actual assessment date will be sometime mid January or the beginning of February.

    Does my child have to take the assessment if my child has never attended school in-person this school year?

    • Yes.  The federal government mandates that all students take the assessment in-person.  If your child does not take the assessment for any reason, he or she will not be able to exit the English Language Development program this school year.

    How sure is the district that we will be fully virtual during the assessment window?

    • Though the move to fully virtual instruction is not anticipated, it is possible.  If the district must move to fully virtual, it will do so for the shortest time period possible.  It is unlikely that the move to fully virtual would go beyond the assessment window.  

    How is the assessment administered in a fully virtual environment?

    • English Language Development teachers will determine a date and develop a schedule for each building for the administration of the ACCESS for ELLs assessment.

    • Students will take the assessment in a large, school space such as the cafeteria and students will be masked and social distanced.

    Where is the assessment administered?

    • As stated above, the assessment will be administered in-person in the school cafeteria or other large facility in the school to allow for appropriate social distancing.

    Who will administer the assessment?

    • The English Language Development teachers will administer the assessment.

    What preparation will test administrators have prior to assessment?

    • ELD teachers participated in a state-sponsored training program to administer the assessment.

    What safety measures will be in place?

    • The teachers and students will follow the required safety procedures at the time of the assessment including but not limited to wearing of masks and social distancing.

    When do parents/guardians need to be contacted?

    • Parents/guardians will be contacted if the district decides to move to fully virtual with a link to information regarding the contingency plan for administration of the ACCESS for ELLs assessment.

    • ELD teachers will follow up with families regarding the dates of administration, location, and other details for the assessment.

    How do students get to the schools?

    • Parents/guardians will be asked to transport their student to the testing site on the assigned day, however, if transportation is problematic, the ELD teacher will inform the district for alternative arrangements for transportation.

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