English Language Learners

 

The MSD of Decatur Township English Language Learners (ELL) Program is designed for students whose home language is something other than English.  The district is committed to the academic and social growth of ELLs while also respecting and honoring the language and rich culture the students and their families bring.  Over the past ten (10) years, the ELL population has gradually increased from 57 students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in the 2005-06 school year to 335 in the 2014-15 school year, and there are currently over 20 languages represented in the district.  The ELL staff members in each building use a combination of push-in and pull-out services to support the students’ needs and engage students in all domains of language acquisition (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) through individualized accommodations and specialized instruction according to their Individual Learning Plans (ILPs). All teachers supporting ELLs in the district use the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) standards in combination with the Indiana Academic Standards to ensure the language and content needs of the students are met.

 

The WIDA English Development Standards: 

 

Standard

Abbreviation

ELD Standard 1

English language learners communicate for Social and

Instructional purposes within the school setting

Social and

Instructional

language

ELD Standard 2

English language learners communicate information, ideas

and concepts necessary for academic success in the content

area of Language Arts

The language of

Language Arts

ELD Standard 3

English language learners communicate information, ideas

and concepts necessary for academic success in the content

area of Mathematics

The language of

Mathematics

ELD Standard 4

English language learners communicate information, ideas

and concepts necessary for academic success in the content

area of Science

The language of

Science

ELD Standard 5

English language learners communicate information, ideas

and concepts necessary for academic success in the content

area of Social Studies

The language of

Social Studies

 

ELLs are assessed annually using one of two (2) WIDA assessments.  ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is an assessment of English language proficiency (ELP) for students in grades 1 -12 who are classified as English language learners (ELLs) and have significant cognitive disabilities that prevent their meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs assessment. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB; 2001) requires that all students identified as ELLs be assessed annually for English language proficiency, including students who receive special education services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2004) also mandates that students with disabilities participate in state-wide and district-wide assessment programs, including alternate assessments with appropriate accommodations, when it is documented in their Individualized Education Programs (IEP). For this reason, WIDA created the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs to meet federal accountability requirements and to provide educators with a measure sensitive to English language proficiency growth of ELLs with significant cognitive disabilities.

 

For more information about the WIDA standards and/or assessments, please visit:  www.wida.us

For more information about the MSD of Decatur Township ELL Department, please contact:

 

Linda Watkins, Director of Exceptional Learners

317-856-5265