The Bridgeton School District provides language assistance services which “help to ensure that children who are limited English proficient, including immigrant children and youth, attain English proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and meet the same challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards as all children are expected to meet; to assist all limited English proficient children, including immigrant children and youth, to achieve at high levels in the core academic subjects so that those children can meet the same challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards as all children .” (Public Law 107-110. SEC. 3102)
As the district begins to develop and/or modify their programming for English language learners we will use the following six principles for promoting academic achievement. It is our goal to ensure:
- English language learners are held to the same high expectations of learning established for all students.
- English language learners develop full receptive and productive proficiencies in English, in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, consistent with expectations for all students.
- English language learners are taught challenging content to enable them to meet performance standards in all content areas, including reading and language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, fine arts, health, and physical education, consistent with those for all students.
- English language learners receive instruction that builds on their previous education and cognitive abilities which reflect their language proficiency.
- English language learners are evaluated with appropriate and valid assessments that are aligned with state standards which take into account the language acquisition and cultural backgrounds of students.
- The academic success of English language learners is a responsibility shared by all educators, the family, and community. (The George Washington University, Center for Equity and Excellence in Education, 1996)
Guidance for Educating English Language Learners (ELLs)
Academic Standards for Instruction
Bridgeton School District K-8 Bilingual and ESL Program
The Bridgeton Public School District implements a Transitional Bilingual Program Model which utilizes the student’s home language, in addition to English, for instruction. Teachers must be proficient in both English and the students’ first language. Full-time bilingual programs teach grade level content matter through the student’s dominant language. They address the history and culture of both language groups; while simultaneously teaching the English language through English as a Second Language (ESL) as an additional subject area. The goal of the program is to teach students the grade appropriate content standards, equal to those within the mainstream general education program, while also helping students acquire the English skills required to succeed. Initial instruction is provided in the students’ first language, to keep students from falling behind academically, while they are learning academic English for future educational success.
Bridgeton High School ESL Program
The Bridgeton School District provides a Newcomer program for Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE).
“SIFE students are defined as immigrant students who come from a home in which a language other than English is spoken and:
· Enter a United States school after the second grade,
· Have had at least two years less schooling than their peers;
· Function at least two years below expected grade level in reading and mathematics; and
· May be pre-literate in their first language.”
The Bridgeton School District Newcomer Program was developed to increase ELL student achievement in math and LAL by creating a supportive and structured environment for newcomer ELL students during their math and LAL courses. This instructional model will provide English instruction with L1 support and scaffold instruction using age-appropriate materials. The instructional model provides individually paced, differentiated instruction to target identified math content gaps, in addition to intensive ESL instruction to increase language acquisition and literacy skills. It is the district’s goal that the Newcomer program will help decrease ELL student drop-out rate by providing a team of focused teachers to assist with assimilation concerns beyond classroom instructional needs along with opportunities to achieve immediate success as they enter the school building on a daily basis.