English Language Learner Program
Welcome to the English Language Learner Department
We support our English Language Learners (ELL) by providing an educational learning environment that supports and sustains academic achievement, academic excellence, and life-long learning.
We want our ELLs to be involved today, motivated for their future, and prepared for their next set of challenges.
Our Core Beliefs:
- We believe in setting high expectations and ensuring equity of educational opportunities for our English Language Learners.
- We hold the view that the success of English Language Learners is a collective responsibility of the entire school community.
- The linguistic and cultural diversity among our students constitutes valuable assets for our school community.
Under federal law, all school districts are required to identify students who are eligible for language assitance.
The parent/guardian provides the language spoken in the home upon the student's enrollment.
- Home Language Survey given to every student upon enrollment.
- Parent/Guardian self-reports there is a language other than English used in the home via the Hellgate Enrollment Form and Home Language Survey.
- The school office contacts the EL Coordinator.
- The EL Coordinator will schedule a time for the language proficiency screener.
- If the data indicates the student is eligible for EL services, the EL Coordinator will inform the parents/guardians, principal, counselor and teacher(s).
- The school serves the language needs of the identified student through a plan developed by classroom teachers, counselor and EL staff. (In some cases, additional tutor support may be provided to the student based on the student's level of English proficiency.)
- EL students will be assessed annually (within the months of December - February) with the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs.
If the student has not been identified as an English learner (English was indicated as their primary language on the Home Language Survey), but classroom performance indicates the student's language is impacting their learning, the teacher can request the student be assessed for EL services.
- Teacher collects the data on the student using the WIDA Teacher Observation Checklist then requests screening of the student.
- The school will contact the EL Coordinator.
- The EL Coordinator will schedule a time for the language proficiency screener with the teacher.
- If the data indicates the student is eligible for EL services, the EL Coordinator will inform the parent/guardian, principal, counselor and teacher(s).
- The school will serve the language needs of the student through a plan developed by classroom teachers, counselor and EL staff. (In some cases, additional tutor support may be provided to students based on levels of English proficiency.
- EL students will be assessed annually (within the months of December - February) with the WIDA ACCESS for ELs.
The following information is provided by the Montana Office of Public Instruction
In general, English Language Learners are no longer classified as LEP (Limited English Proficiency) once they have attained the language skills necessary to learn in age and grade appropriate settings in all areas of language development without the use of adapted or modified English materials.
Montana's definition of proficiency is based on input from school and district staff members that serve LEP students across the state, a review of practices in other states, and input from psychometricians. Montana observes the following definition of proficiency. This definition was adopted in August, 2012.
Montana's Definition of Proficiency
- According to Montana’s definition of proficiency, a student must achieve an overall composite score of 4.7 or higher on ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 to be considered proficient in academic English. It was established during the 2019 Montana WIDA Standards Validation Workshop that students at this level of academic English proficiency are statistically just as likely as their non-EL peers to achieve proficiency in other statewide math, science, and language arts assessments.
- PROFICIENCY CRITERIA FOR ELS WITH SIGNIFICANT COGNITIVE DISABILITIES During the 2019 Montana WIDA Standards Validation Workshop, the stakeholders established a minimum requirement to exit EL services for ELs with the most significant cognitive disabilities as an overall composite score of P2 on the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs assessment.
STEP 1: Has the student achived English language proficiency according to Montana’s definition of proficiency? Consider ELP data from the ACCESS for ELLs assessment as provided on the score reports that are delivered to districts in spring (online and on paper) and are stored in students’ cumulative files.
STEP 2: Is the student meeting academic achievement expectations for their grade level? Consider additional measures of reading, writing, and language development. Acceptable sources of data can include: • The reading Science scores (Did the student score proficient or above?) • Classroom or school assessments of reading comprehension and writing (Is the student meeting grade level expectations in the area of reading comprehension?) • Input from general education and content teachers.
STEP 3: Is the student’s English proficiency sufficient to ensure full participation in society? Consider evidence of receptive and productive language uses to accomplish social and occupational goals within and beyond school (Linquanti and Cook 2013). Types of data to consider: • Language impact on social pragmatics • Impact of language on successful use of interpersonal skills to achieve social goals • Impact of language on behavior
STEP 4: Exit. If the student meets the criteria for proficiency in English language proficiency, academic achievement, and full participation in society within and beyond school, then they may be exited and redesignated as formerly EL in AIM. Parents should be informed of the decision to exit the student from EL status. The student will continue to be monitored for the two years following re-designation.