Curriculum and Instruction:
ESL courses take the place of the regular English Language Arts course for all ELLs placed into Tiers 1&2.
ESL courses have been designed to address each proficiency level using curriculum materials provided by Hampton Brown: Avenues (K-6), English at Your Command (2-5), Inside Edition (6-8), High Point (7-12), Edge (9-12); and OPD: Oxford Picture Dictionary interactive (9-12). These courses were created and adapted to the PA Leadership Charter School format and course descriptions by the ESL teachers. They are aligned with the PA state standards and are delivered via the PALCS portal, Moodle.
ESL Resource Room:
An ESL Resource course has been created for those students who are placed into Tier 3. These students are approaching native English proficiency and can learn and thrive in the mainstream environment. The ESL Resource Room will be a place where the ELLs and the ESL teacher can meet to discuss what the students are learning in their mainstream courses. The ESL teachers can give feedback and support for any course and any topic/skill. The students will be held accountable for their progress in the mainstream Language Arts classes and will still have access to all of the available ESL support services.
Levels of Service:
Once identified, ELLs will be placed according to the following criteria:
- Grade K—students will remain in mainstream courses and will be given weekly Face-to-Face support.
- Grades 1-12—
- Tier 1: Levels 1.0-2.0—This tier is exclusively for students newly enrolling with extremely limited English proficiency. These students will be placed into two ESL newcomer courses: Newcomers and ESL High Point Basics. They will utilize our Livemocha, Oxford Picture Dictionary, and other supplemental resources through these courses. They will receive Face-to-Face and chats as needed.
- Tier 2: Levels 2.0-4.0—These students will be placed into ESL courses instructed by an ESL teacher. They will be given Face-to-Face support on an as-needed basis determined by their ACCESS scores and success in their other core courses. These students will receive weekly chats with an ESL teacher.
- Tier 3: Levels 3.0-5.0—These students will be placed into the lowest level mainstream English courses available for their grade level based on parental consent, supporting proof of success in their regular battery of courses, and ESL teacher approval. They will also be placed into an ESL resource/electives course where they will be held accountable for daily contact with the ESL teacher and chats as needed for support with their LA and core courses.
Assessment of English Language Growth:
Summative assessments include the PSSA, ACCESS for ELLs, and local assessments such as PLATO.
Formative assessments include formal and informal classroom assessments such as Star Reading/Math, PLATO Test Packs, Baseline/End-of-Year Reading/Math Assessments, and writing samples. These are given only when it is appropriate to do so based on the student’s English language proficiency.
Pennsylvania Language Proficiency Standards for English Language Learners
PALCS follows the Performance Definitions for the levels of English language proficiency as outlined in the attached chart. ( chart will follow shortly)
In order to exit the ESL program, a student must meet the criteria set by the state. They are a score of BASIC on the annual PSSA Reading and Math assessment and a score of PROFICIENT (5.0) on the WIDA ACCESS test.
Exited students will be monitored on a regular basis for 2 years post-exit. ESL teachers will communicate with the teachers of monitored students via email, phone, and surveys to monitor student progress quarterly. If an exited student is displaying difficulty in his coursework, the PALCS ESL Committee, which includes the ESL teachers, regular teachers, parents, and other appropriate personnel, will meet to discuss what modifications and supports should be put in place for the student. The possibility exists that exited ESL students will be placed back into the program for reinforcement, closer support opportunities and English language instruction. If appropriate, ELLs will not be “re-exited” into Monitor status until the start of the next marking period.