The English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program is offered to all English Language Learners who meet the testing eligibility criteria. This program aids in the success of a limited English proficient student in an English-speaking classroom. Polk School District’s goal is to have students succeed in all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) both socially and academically. We also want them to understand and function successfully in all environments and settings. Immersion in an English-speaking environment with guidance from the ESOL teacher and accommodations provided by all other school personnel will produce the results necessary.
A three-question Home Language Survey is completed by every student when initially registering in the district to determine if there is the influence of a language other than English. This survey asks three questions:
- What was the language the student first learned to speak?
- What language does the student speak at home?
- What language does the student speak most often?
If the student has a language other than English noted on his Home Language Survey, the ESOL teacher will test the student. A student scoring below a 29 on the Kindergarten W-APT or a 5.0 on the WIDA Screener will be eligible for English language assistance services (ESOL).
Once it is determined that a student is eligible for ESOL services, a Parent Notification of Student Eligibility for Language Support Services letter will be sent home. This letter must be signed and returned and will be placed in the student’s ESOL file. This form gives us written permission to serve your child. Some parents of students identified as eligible for services may choose to waive language assistance services for their child. Parents who waive services must do so in writing on an annual basis. If you need this form, please request it from any ESOL teacher here at school.
All ESOL students are evaluated each spring using the ACCESS test. The ACCESS test will determine the students’ eligibility for the ESOL program for the next year. These scores will be sent home in late May.
In order for a student to exit the ESOL program they must:
- Have at least a 4.3 on the ACCESS test
- Kindergarten students must have a 5.0 in all domains and at least a 4.5 in writing
I am really looking forward to working with your children. We are going to have a great year!
If you have any questions about the ESOL program, please call me or email me.