GROSSE POINTE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

 

English as a Second Language

Handbook

2018-19

Title III Program


 

 

GROSSE POINTE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

ENGLISH LEARNERS PARENT HANDBOOK

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Nancy Rieth

PreK-12 English Learners

Nancy.Rieth@gpschools.org

 


 

Contents

I. INTRODUCTION.. 5

A. EL PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT. 5

B. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.. 5

II. DEFINITION OF ENGLISH LEARNERS (ELs) 5

III. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES. 6

A. Title I and Title III 6

B. Federal Law.. 8

IV. PROCEDURES. 9

A. Registration/Identification Using Home Language Survey. 9

B. Initial Assessment for Program Eligibility. 9

C. Eligibility for ESL Title III Program Services. 10

D. Parental Notification (See Appendix I) 12

E. Placement in the Title III ESL Alternative Language Program.. 12

F. ELs Who Are Struggling Learners. 13

G. Exiting from ESL Title III Program Services. 14

H. Monitoring Formerly Limited English Proficient Students (FLEP) 16

I. Student Folder Contents and CA-60. 16

V. STAFF ROLES. 16

A. ESL Teachers. 16

B. The teachers and the ESL staff are the ones who decide: 17

VI. PERSONNEL PRACTICES. 17

A. Postings. 17

B. Professional Learning. 18

VII. PROGRAM EVALUATION.. 18

VIII. QUESTIONS, CONCERNS, OR COMPLAINTS. 18

Appendix I. Parent Forms: Consent and Home Language Survey Form, WIDA Scores Form, GPPS Release Form, Code of Conduct Agreement Form.. 19

Appendix II. (WIDA) ACCESS for ELs English Language Proficiency Assessment 24

Appendix III. Social Language, Academic Language defined. 29

Appendix IV. Home to School Communication. 30

A. WAYS FOR PARENTS OF EL STUDENTS TO STAY INFORMED. 30

B. PARENTAL COMMUNICATION AND INTERPRETERS. 31

C. PROCEDURES FOR VISITING YOUR STUDENTS SCHOOL. 32

D. EL PARENT INFORMATION NIGHT. 32

E. EL PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE. 32

 

 


I. INTRODUCTION

A. EL PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT

The goal of the EL program is to provide non-native, English learning students with the resources and opportunities to develop their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and also to equip them with the academic strategies necessary for successful study in a language and culture that may differ from their native language and/or culture.

B. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Grosse Pointe School District seeks to provide every child, regardless of national origin or native language, quality and meaningful educational instruction. Consequently, students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) are provided instructional services through the Title III English as a Second Language (ESL) program which is designed to meet his/her unique needs.

We have prepared this handbook of program policies and procedures to ensure that Grosse Pointes Title III ESL program is consistent throughout the district.

The information contained herein has been compiled using the following sources:

Michigan Department of Education, Office of School Improvement Title III Handbook

Handbook templates of Taylor, Gibraltar, and Utica Public Schools. Special thanks to them.

II. DEFINITION OF ENGLISH LEARNERS (ELs)

A Limited English Proficient (LEP) is described according to the federal government definition used in ESSA and in Michigan is referred to as an English Learner (EL). The federal government classifications follow.

An EL is a student aged 3-21, who is enrolled (or about to enroll), in a U.S. elementary or secondary school and meets these two requirements:

1.     Belongs to one of the following categories:

       was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant;

       is a Native American, Alaska Native, or native resident of outlying areas and comes from an environment where language other than English has had a significant impact on the individuals level of English language proficiency;

       is migratory, speaks a native language other than English, and comes from an environment where language other than English is dominant.

2.     May be unable because of difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language, to:

       score at the proficient level on state assessments of academic achievement,

       learn successfully in classrooms that have language of instruction in English,

       or participate fully in society.

 

III. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES

A. Title I and Title III

Title I, Section 1112

ESSA Title III, Sections 3113, 3212, 3213, 3247, 3302

English Language Learner provisions are included under Title I and Title III of ESSA. Title I outlines the state standards, assessment, annual yearly progress, and other accountability requirements for EL students. Title III provides funding to state and local education agencies that are obligated by ESSA to increase the English proficiency and core academic content knowledge of Limited English Proficient students (another term is EL-English Learners, although ESSA uses the term LEP for Limited English Proficiency). Under this title, local school districts decide on the method of instruction to be used to teach EL students English, but requires that instructional programs be scientifically proven to be effective.

State education agencies, school districts, and schools must:

1.     Ensure that EL students, including immigrant children and youth, develop English proficiency based on state expectations, and meet the same academic content and achievement standards that all children are expected to meet.

2.     Provide parental notification as to why their child is in need of placement in a specialized language instruction program.

3.     Administer reading assessments using tests written in English to any student who has attended school in the United States for three or more consecutive years, unless it is determined by the school district, on a case-by-case basis, that native-language tests will yield more accurate results.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Title III funds are to be used to provide language instruction educational programsdefined as courses in which EL students are placed for the purpose of attaining English proficiency--while meeting challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards. These programs may make use of English to enable the child to develop and attain English proficiency, but school districts are required to use approaches and methodologies based on scientifically-based research. Each school or district using Title III funds must implement an effective means of outreach to parents of EL children. They must inform parents about how they can be active participants in assisting their children to learn English, achieve at high levels in core academic subjects and meet State standards.

Title III Schools and School Districts Must:

       Describe in their Title III application to the State how the district has consulted with teachers, researchers, administrators, parents, and others in developing their Title III plan.

       Inform parents of a child identified for participation in a Title III program within 30 days after the beginning of the school year. For a child who enters school after the beginning of the school year, the school must inform parents within two weeks of the childs placement in such a program.

       Communicate with parents in an understandable and uniform format, which means communicating the same information to all parents and in a manner that is effective.

Title III Funds May Be Used for the Following School District and/or School Activities:

       English instruction

       Staff training and professional development

       Curriculum development

       Technology acquisition

       Parent involvement

       Summer school program

       Support for teacher aides trained to provide services to EL students

Assessments Required of EL Students:

All EL students must be included in the State assessment required of all students (MSTEP). Inclusion in this assessment must begin immediately when the student enrolls in school, and no exemptions are permitted on the basis of English proficiency.

Districts must annually assess EL students on their English language proficiency to determine how proficient they are in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and this proficiency data must be sent to the state for compilation. Each state is required to set annual measurable objectives for school districts in moving EL students toward English proficiency.

Placement and Exit Criteria

Placement guidelines for grades K-8:

Students with official translated transcripts describing their previous schooling will be placed at grade levels comparable to what is indicated on their transcripts. Students without transcripts will not be placed more than one grade level below their age group.

Placement guidelines for grades 9-12:

Counselors will assist students and students families in developing schedules and finding the most appropriate courses. They will determine the number of credits required for high school completion and graduation. Students with official translated transcripts will be placed at grade levels comparable to their age. In the event the student is missing coursework the grade level placement should be no more than one grade level below his or her age group. Newly arrived limited English proficient students (including those entering 12th grade) should expect to take at least two years to complete all graduation requirements.

Michigan Department of Education EL Common Entrance & Exit Criteria from the English Learner Program:

Entrance Criteria:

The WIDA screener (or a review of previous years WIDA) is required of any student who indicates a language other than English for either of the questions on the Home Language Survey. Results must be less than one year old.

After administering the WIDA screener to determine eligibility, if a school district believes that a student does not qualify for an alternative language program (for example, the student has scored Reaching (level 6) on the screener and is not in Pre-K), the district may administer a district approved Reading and Math assessment.

Exit Criteria:

Students must have results from the annual spring WIDA assessment to be considered for Exit. Students must not be exited based on WIDA Screener results. Only the full WIDA results are used when determining exit eligibility. Students must score an overall 4.5 on the WIDA‐Access assessment to be considered for exit. Students must also demonstrate at or above grade level performance in Reading and Math on other State standardized tests.

Monitoring Criteria:

The EL teacher will place all formerly limited English proficient (FLEP) students on a monitoring list for four years following the students exit from EL services. During this time, the EL teacher will consult with general education teachers to make sure the student is performing at or above grade level in the classroom, as well as scoring proficient or partially proficient on the M-STEP or MME. At the elementary level, the areas monitored are Reading, Writing and Math and, at the secondary level, English and Math. Appropriate interventions must be provided if the student does not sustain academic progress. In some cases, the student may be placed back in the EL program.    

B. Federal Law

There exists a substantial body of Federal law which established the rights of the LEP student and which defines the legal responsibilities of school districts serving these students. Administrators and school boards who are responsible for local policies and programs can turn for guidance and direction to this body of law. It includes the following:

1868 Constitution of the United States, Fourteenth Amendment

No State shalldeny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

1964 Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Two U.S. Supreme Court rulings, one interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment and one interpreting the Civil Rights Act of 1964, have exercised considerable influence over the educational rights of language minority students. These cases may be summarized as follows:

1974 Lau v. Nichols

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a school districts failure to provide English language instruction to LEP students denied them meaningful opportunity to participate in the districts educational program in violation of Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Court further noted that equality of opportunity is not provided by giving the LEP students the same facilities, text books, teachers, and curriculum which non-LEP students receive.

1982 Plyler v. Doe

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying a free public education to undocumented immigrant children regardless of their immigration status. The Court emphatically declared that the school systems are not agents for enforcing immigration law and determined that the burden undocumented aliens may place on an educational system is not an accepted argument excluding or denying educational service to any student.

IV. PROCEDURES

The following procedures are established for Grosse Pointe Schools to meet the requirements of Title I and Title III.

A. Registration/Identification Using Home Language Survey

The Home Language Survey (see Appendix I) approved by the Michigan Department of Education is included with other Grosse Pointe School District registration forms. It is to be completed at the time of registration. The Pupil Accounting/Student Services department is responsible for ensuring that a home language survey is completed for all students at the time of enrollment. The completed registration forms shall be placed in a students permanent (CA-60) file. If a student is identified on the Home Language Survey as having a native language other than English and/or the primary language spoken in the home is a language other than English, he/she is therefore potentially eligible for ESL services.

B. Initial Assessment for Program Eligibility

Within thirty days of the beginning of the school year (or within two weeks if enrolled during the school year), a student who is identified as potentially eligible on the Home Language Survey or is an exchange student from a foreign country must be assessed to determine if they are eligible for EL Title III services. Assessments determine a students language skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and comprehending English using the WAPT screener. During the testing window beginning in February, the WIDA assessment will be given.

C. Eligibility for ESL Title III Program Services

A student who scores level 1 through level 5 on the WIDA screener is eligible for ESL Title III Program Services. For students who score level 6 (Reaching) to continue receiving ESL Title III support services, the district, along with Wayne RESA, takes into account additional multiple academic criteria as noted in the following flowchart.

 

 

 


 

 

FLOWCHART FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY WITH ENTRANCE PROTOCOL

 

 

 

D. Parental Notification (See Appendix I)

The Grosse Pointe School District informs parents of English Learners (ELs) identified for participation in the districts ELS Title III program:

       No later than 30 days after the beginning of the school year for students who enter at the start of the school year.

       Within the first two weeks (ten school days) of attendance for children who have not been identified as ELs prior to the beginning of the school year.

Title III School Districts Must Provide the Following Information to Parents

       The reasons for identifying their child as being limited English proficient and for placing their child in a language instruction educational program for LEP students;

       The childs current level of English proficiency, including how the level was assessed and the status of the childs academic achievement;

       The method of instruction that will be used in the program, including a description of all language programs;

       How the program will meet the educational strengths and needs of the child;

       How the program will help the child learn English and meet academic achievement standards;

       How the program will meet the objectives of an individualized education program for a child with a disability;

       The program exit requirements, including when the transition will take place and when graduation from secondary school is expected;

       The parents rights, including written guidance that (A) specifies the right to have their child immediately removed from a language educational program upon request, (B) describes the options that parents have to decline to enroll their child in such a program or to choose another program or method of instruction if available.

 

School Districts Are Required to Notify Parents of Student Academic Failure

Local school districts are required to provide notice to the parents of EL children participating in a Title III program of any failure of the program to help the child make progress on annual measurable achievement objectives. This notice is to be provided no later than 30 days after this failure occurs and must be provided in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, in the language the parents can understand.

E. Placement in the Title III ESL Alternative Language Program

The Grosse Pointe School District/Wayne RESA Consortium provides an instructional program to meet the language and academic content needs of English Learners (ELs) enrolled in the district. The instructional needs of students at different levels of language proficiency and prior schooling are met differently. Below is the guide for EL program instruction described by level of language proficiency and level of instruction. As soon as eligibility is determined through the proficiency testing and approval is obtained from the parent or guardian, the school designs a program of support appropriate to the need of the student. The following table illustrates the mode of service that will be offered to students in the EL program. The services are offered by para-educators who are trained in SIOP.

GRADE

LEVEL OF SERVICE

DESCRIPTION

Kindergarten

30 minutes, 3-5 times per week

The childs progress will be monitored by an ESL teacher through periodic observation or assessment and consultation with the kindergarten teacher.

 

Push-In also available where an ESL Assistant enters the mainstream classroom to help the student when needed.

Grades 1-5

30 minutes, 3-5 times per week

Newcomer Kit is used for newly arrived immigrants to teach English while helping them acquire basic academic skills and concepts in content areas.

Push-In is available with ESL Assistants, Pull-Out small group or one-on-one intensive language and literacy instruction focuses on academic vocabulary and essential vocabulary for content areas.

Grades 6-12

60 minutes, 5 times per week

Sheltered English Instruction: The focus is on developing grade-level content-area knowledge, academic skills, and increased English proficiency.

Push-In available and Pull-Out small group or one-on-one.

Consultation: In collaboration with classroom teacher on identifying key or priority standards, appropriate instructional and assessment strategies and on making classroom language comprehensible.

 

Grosse Pointe District ESL Title III Alternative Language Program provides language and academic content support through:

       English as a Second Language Instruction

       Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP)

       Content Classes

       Reading Support

       Title I Reading and Math Support

F. ELs Who Are Struggling Learners

When indicators suggest that an English Learner (EL) is having difficulties attaining linguistic, academic and social expectations, which are unrelated to the students English Language Proficiency, the student will be referred to the school S3 Team for intervention strategies. Periodic reviews will be conducted to determine the success or failure of the strategies. The Grosse Pointe School District has an established procedure for referring students for special education evaluations. These special intervention strategies must be utilized to determine what further strategies may be necessary and must be utilized to ensure that a student is not referred for formal Special Education Multidisciplinary Team evaluations when the lack of academic progress is primarily related to language background or a need for more ESL Title III support services. In the event the various strategies are not successful, the student may be referred for a special education evaluation. The student may require further evaluation administered in his/her native language.

G. Exiting from ESL Title III Program Services

A student who scores an overall proficiency of 4.5 and a 4.0 in reading and writing sections on the WIDA test may be exited from the ESL Title III Program and monitored for four years. Students may exit earlier if teachers, the principal, the parents, and the EL Assistant all agree based on report cards and effort that the student is ready. The student is also exited from the program in the SRSD and considered FLEP (Formerly Limited English Proficient) for four years. Criteria used to exit a student will be placed in the students CA-60.

See the following Exit Protocol flowchart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLOWCHART FOR APPLYING THE EXIT PROTOCOL

 

After exit, students monitored 4 years

 

 

 

 

H. Monitoring Formerly Limited English Proficient Students (FLEP)

The placement team who reviews the criteria for a student to exit from the program also determines if the student needs support services during the transition to the regular education program. Additionally, an ESL staff member is designated to monitor the students progress (such as grades, attendance, and standardized test scores). The designated staff member assesses the students progress every semester using any combination of the following criteria: report cards, GPA, attendance, standardized assessments, and teacher observation.

If, during the monitoring, it appears that the student is not succeeding in the regular education program, the staffing team will meet to determine if further assessment of the student is warranted, if the student will be reentered into the ESL Title III Program, or if other services are appropriate.

A record of the monitoring as well as any placement changes resulting from the monitoring will be placed in the students ESL Title III files.

I. Student Folder Contents and CA-60

Each ESL student will have a folder maintained by the ESL teacher at the building. The folder will contain:

       Parent refusal of services notification letter (Appendix I)

       WIDA test results

       Monitoring records

The CA-60 will contain:

       Home language survey

       WIDA test results explained (Appendix II)

V. STAFF ROLES

A. ESL Teachers

The ESL teacher is trained in Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) annually. The ESL teacher has primary responsibility for providing English language instruction to the EL. The ESL teacher also shares the responsibility with mainstream general education teachers for ensuring that the EL received content instruction while learning English.

The ESL teacher supports the instruction of the mainstream class by discussing the content using ESL, sheltered or content specific instruction taught in English. The ESL teacher is responsible for language development and content specific instruction support.

The ESL teacher:

       provides content instruction and language development;

       assumes the same functions as the mainstream teacher when they are the teacher of record in the classroom;

       teaches basic survival skills to the most limited English proficient students;

       assists general education staff about culture and language of the EL and family;

       identifies, assesses, teaches, and counsels each EL; and

       provides staff support on English language instruction and SIOP.

B. The teachers and the ESL staff are the ones who decide:

       what should be taught;

       how the mainstream class content should be supported by ESL staff;

       what the essential concepts in the lessons are;

       how lessons should be modified;

       how to modify assessment; and

       how to assess achievement.

In addition, the teachers:

       are full partners with the ESL staff in educating ELs in his/her class;

       demonstrate sensitivity and awareness of cultural and linguistic differences;

       individualize instruction to meet the needs of each student;

       use visuals/hands-on activities to facilitate learning;

       provide materials for the ESL staff that support the mainstream instruction;

       help EL students make friends and be part of the social interaction in the classroom;

       promote intercultural discussion; and

       suggest the type of help the EL student needs to be successful in his/her class to the ESL teacher.

VI. PERSONNEL PRACTICES

A. Postings

The Grosse Pointe Public School District will, when seeking new applicants for all content area positions, actively recruit those people speaking the language of our student population. This is recommended for all vacancies, not just ESL or bilingual positions.

The Grosse Pointe Public School District will encourage the designation of ESL paraprofessionals as a distinct category. This will provide trained personnel and consistent instruction. Presently, the paraprofessionals are highly trained with specific skills to meet the needs of ELs.

B. Professional Learning

ESL staff meet regularly to update knowledge and skills, obtain additional training, and share information and materials.

ESL staff will have the opportunity to attend conferences and in-services inside and outside the district.

Training for regular education teachers on ESL issues will be provided.

VII. PROGRAM EVALUATION

A District ESL staff Evaluation Committee will meet each spring to assess student progress using standardized test scores and writing samples. They will also assess the program's effectiveness, resources and staff needs. This committee will make any necessary program recommendations to the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction and the Board of Education.

VIII. QUESTIONS, CONCERNS, OR COMPLAINTS

A parent or guardian of an English Learner should address concerns about the ESL Program to the Grosse Pointe Public Schools District Coordinator, Nancy Rieth, at (313)-432-3387, or by email at Nancy.Rieth@gpschools.org.

Questions or concerns about classroom or school issues may be addressed to the students classroom teacher or to the school principal. See Appendix IV, Home to School Communication for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix I. Parent Forms: Consent and Home Language Survey Form, WIDA Scores Form, GPPS Release Form, Code of Conduct Agreement Form


 

Grosse Pointe Public Schools

English as a Second Language

Consent Form

 

Student ___________________________________ School________________________

D.O.B.____________________________________ Grade_________________________

Address_______________________________________________________________________

Phone #___________________________________ Cell #_________________________

Teacher___________________________________

Parents____________________________________ & _________________________________

Language__________________________________

Immigration Date____________________________

 

My child _______________________________________ has my permission to be assessed for English language proficiency.

 

Parent Signature______________________________ Date__________________________

 

Home Language Survey

 

1.     Is your childs native tongue a language other than English? Yes No

If Yes, what language?_________________________________________

 

2.     Is the primary language used in your childs home or environment a language

other than English? Yes No

If Yes, what language?__________________________________________

 

 

Grosse Pointe Public School

English Language Learner Program

Release Form

 

 

Student Name____________________________________________________

 

I hereby release my child, __________________________________________, from participation in the ELL Program. My child will not receive services on a daily basis from the EL Department. However, I am aware that my child will take an English Proficiency Test every year until he/she scores at the Proficient or Advanced Proficient Level.

 

Parents Signature_____________________________________

Phone Number_______________________________________

Date_______________________________________________

School______________________________________________

 

 

English as a Second Language/English Language Learners

Code of Conduct Agreement

 

___ I understand that the Grosse Pointe Public School System expects students to follow its rules.

___   I understand that the Grosse Pointe Public School System has a list of items students are not allowed to bring to school.

___ I understand these rules are listed in the Grosse Pointe Public School Systems Code of Conduct.

___   I understand that I can find this Code of Conduct on the Grosse Pointe Public School System website at gpschools.org under the ESL tab on the right side of the screen.

___  I understand that this Code of Conduct can be translated into my preferred language.

___     I understand that I should read this Code of Conduct with my child(ren).

___   I understand that any questions can be directed to Nancy Rieth at nancy.rieth@gpschools.org.

 

Parent Signature(s): __________________________________________

Student Signature:___________________________________________

Dated:____________________________________________


Appendix II. (WIDA) ACCESS for ELs English Language Proficiency Assessment

 

What is the WIDA?

 

The WIDA ACCESS is the annual assessment given to Michigans students who are eligible for EL (English Learner) services.

 

Who takes the WIDA?

Students who are eligible for EL services, are K-12 students, and who are enrolled in a Michigan public school or private school take the WIDA.

 

How are eligible ELs identified?

The Home Language Survey (HLS), a Title VI ESSA reporting requirement, is given to all students at the time of enrollment. It asks two important questions:

1.     Is the students native tongue a language other than English (LOTE)?

2.     Is a LOTE spoken in the students home or environment?

 

If either of the answers to these questions is yes, then the student is eligible to be assessed for English proficiency. Based on this assessment, as well as other locally-determined criteria which could include expert opinion, a district will enter the student into EL services offered within the district. This student will continue to take the spring WIDA assessment year to year until they are exited from services.

 

Why is the WIDA given?

It measures, on an annual basis, the progress ELs are making in the acquisition of their English language skills. Reports on their progress are provided to districts, ISDs, the state itself, and the federal government.

 

 

Source: Michigan Department of Education



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix III. Social Language, Academic Language defined

Social and Academic Language

Social Language -Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)

Language experts differentiate between social and academic language acquisition. BICS is the social language, involving the day-to-day language needed to interact socially with other people. English learners use social language when they are on the playground, in the lunchroom, on the school bus, at parties, playing sports and talking on the telephone. These language skills usually develop within six months to two years after arrival in the U.S. Problems arise when teachers and administrators think that a child is proficient in a language when they demonstrate good English.

Academic Language -Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)

CALP refers to academic learning, which includes listening, speaking, reading, and writing about subject area content material. This level of language is essential for students to succeed in school. Students need time and support to be proficient in academic areas. This usually takes from five to seven years. Some research has shown that if a child has no prior schooling or has no support in native language development, it may take seven to ten years for ELs to catch up to their peers (Thomas & Collier, 1995). Source: Judy Haynes, Michigan Department of Education Office of School Improvement

Appendix IV. Home to School Communication

The Grosse Pointe School district believes that communication between home and school is important for student success. Our staff is committed to ongoing communication between school and home. Please see the Student Code of Conduct on our website.

A. WAYS FOR PARENTS OF EL STUDENTS TO STAY INFORMED

The school has many ways to keep you informed of your childs progress and important school events. Some of these ways are listed below:

       Back to School Nights- provide parents with an opportunity to get an overview of their childs school. This event is held during the first few weeks of school. Information is given on schedules, classroom expectations, homework, special subjects, curriculum, volunteer opportunities and communication with the teacher.

       ESL Parent Information Night an evening, usually scheduled in October, where parents of ESL students are escorted to the library of an elementary school for a presentation describing the ESL academic program and available family support resources, while the ESL students remain in the gym with ESL assistants socializing and playing games. After the presentation, dinner is served to all.

       District and school websites - contains important district information such as district news, school calendar, and school contact information. This website has the option to be translated in over 10 languages.

       Parent/Teacher Conferences - held in the fall and the spring. The school notifies parents of the specific dates. Additional conferences can be requested by the parent or teacher during the school year.

       Classroom Newsletters published by the elementary teaches with important information about the class, upcoming events, areas of study, and general class progress and needs.

       Report Cards - given out 3 times a year for elementary students and 4 times a year for middle school and high school students.

       Flyers and letters these can include notes from the teachers, lunch menus, fines, upcoming school events, and other school information.

       Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) an organization comprised of school parents and teachers that meet and work to support the school in various ways.

 

Communication Procedures with School Personnel

We encourage every parent to stay in close communication with their childs teacher and school. Please check with your childs teacher for the most efficient and best way to communicate with him/her. Contact information on your childs school can be found at this link, the Grosse Pointe Schools website.

Its important to notify the school with any new information on your child, especially health problems or concerns, and change of address or phone number.

B. PARENTAL COMMUNICATION AND INTERPRETERS

Parental Communication/Interpreter Services

Parents of limited English proficient students will receive readily understood notices of school programs and activities impacting their child's education. Many bilingual parents need interpreters (translators) to participate in school activities such as registering students and parent/teacher conferences. Certainly, the more informed parents are the more likely it is that they will be able to support their childs learning. However, many teachers and administrators may be unfamiliar with using an interpreter and may consequently be reluctant to make routine use of the parents native languages. The following suggestions may facilitate successful communication when using an interpreter:

Prior to the Meeting

1. Accurately determine the parents native language prior to the meeting and identify an interpreter (may be an adult family member) who is fluent in that language. Note that it may be important to determine the particular dialect of the family to use an interpreter who can easily communicate.

2. Send notices for school meetings and conferences home in English on oneside and students native languages (when possible) on the other. Keep a generic file of these notices with blanks for times and dates.

3. Talk with the interpreter prior to meeting parents to clarify his/her role. In most cases, interpreters should not be active participants in the conversation. Rather, they should simply translate the participants statements. The teacher or administrator should make it clear to parents at the beginning of the conference that this is the role the interpreter will play. In situations where it is appropriate for interpreters to be active in the conversation (for example, when the interpreter is a bilingual paraprofessional who also works with the student), the teacher or administrator should explicitly invite the interpreter to join in the discussion.

4. Prepare for the meeting by talking with the interpreter about the anticipated content that will be discussed. In this way, interpreters can clarify vocabulary and school terms that may not be familiar.

5. Do not rely on children to interpret for their parents. This reverses the roles in families parents feel like children and children feel like they have more authority than they should. It is also difficult for most children to translate and children are very reluctant to translate anything negative about themselves to parents. Do not put them in this role.

During the Meeting

1. Show respect to parents by addressing them directly and allowing the interpreter to simply interpret your words. Sit so that you speak directly to the parents rather than to the interpreter. Often, it works well to place the interpreter to your side rather than between you and the parent.

2. Speak at a normal rate and volume.

3. Keep the group limited to a small number of people. Introduce each person and the role each plays in relation to the child.

4. Stop periodically and ask if there are any questions.

5. Support your statements with examples of student work that parents can take with them and examine further.

6. Do whatever you can to encourage parents further school visits and participation in school activities.

Following the Meeting

1. Clarify any confusing interactions with the interpreter. Ask for feedback and suggestions on the interpreting process from the interpreter.

2. Make a record of significant information discussed. It is helpful to do this in both languages so that parents could have easy access to information. Consider sending a follow-up letter in the language of the parent.

C. PROCEDURES FOR VISITING YOUR STUDENTS SCHOOL

All school visitors must enter through the main school doors and report to the school office. Please make arrangements with your childs teacher if you would like to meet with them or if you plan on volunteering at your childs school.

D. EL PARENT INFORMATION NIGHT

EL Parent Information Night is scheduled in October, where parents of ESL students are escorted to the library of an elementary school for a presentation describing the ESL academic program and available family support resources, while the ESL students remain in the gym with ESL assistants socializing and playing games. After the presentation, dinner is served to all.

E. EL PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The EL Parent Advisory Committee is a group of EL parents and staff that meet to share ideas and concerns regarding the EL program. The Parent Advisory Committee consists of one parent of an EL elementary student, one parent of an EL middle school student, and one parent of an EL high school student. Interested parents are asked to contact Nancy Rieth at Nancy.Rieth@gpschools.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix VI. Glossary of Terms

Academic Language: The language which includes content area vocabulary and the skills required for success in school such as comparing, classifying, synthesizing, evaluating and inferring. Research indicates that it takes students from three to seven or more years to acquire academic language (Cummins 1984).

Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS): This refers to a students social English language skills. Research indicates that a student takes 1-3 years to acquire functional social language skills (Cummins, 1981).

Bilingualism: The ability to understand and use two languages in particular contexts and for particular purposes. Bilinguals can have the same levels of proficiency in both languages (advanced in both) or different levels of proficiency (advanced in one and beginning or intermediate in the other). Bilingual individuals do not necessarily have the same level of proficiency in all aspects of both languages: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

CA-60: This file is kept in the school office and is the official record of the student. It contains: birth certificate, immunization records, registration documents, standardized test scores, report cards, and other official school documents.

CALP: Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency refers to the English language skills necessary to function successfully in an academic/school environment. Research indicates that it takes a student from 3-7 or more years to acquire such academic language skills. (Cummins, 1981).

English Learners (EL): (sometimes referred to as limited English proficient, LEP, or language minority students) are students who begin their schooling in the U.S. with limited proficiency in English. These students must learn English as a second language for both academic and social purposes in order to benefit fully from instruction through English.

ELL Paraprofessional: ELL paraprofessionals, trained in SIOP, provide support services to ESL students. Students they support must demonstrate language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension of the English language.

ESL: English as a Second Language instruction is used to teach English language components (grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation) and language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension) as well as content areas.

ESL Class Period: A student receives ESL instruction during a regular class period, often grouped by English language proficiency levels.

ESL Instruction: ESL is defined as a structured language acquisition program designed to instruct a student in the English language (speaking, reading, writing, and comprehending) and core academic content.

ESL Student File: This file is kept by the ESL teacher at the building of enrollment. It contains a copy of the district registration, assessment data, and family information.

ESL Teacher: An ESL teacher is required to be certified and have specific training in ESL instruction. The ESL teacher may provide ESL instruction or support services to LEP students and may provide consultative services to regular classroom teachers.

Formerly Limited English Proficient (FLEP): When a student has made sufficient progress as determined by the district, based upon the State of Michigan exit criteria, and is no longer eligible for EL services. The students academic progress will be monitored for two years.

Home Language Survey: A series of questions that parents are asked to complete upon registering their student in the district. The questions provide information on students linguistic background and help determine eligibility for EL support. The Home Language Survey is included in the UCS registration packet.

Language Proficiency: The ability to use language accurately and appropriately in its oral and written forms in a variety of settings. Proficiency varies as a function of the context, purpose and content of communication.

Newcomer: Any limited English speaking student who has never attended American schools and is new to this country.

Placement Team: The following staff (where available) should be part of the team working with ESL students:

       Classroom Teacher

       Counselor

       Social Worker

       Psychologist

       ESL/ELL Instructor/Paraprofessional

       General Education Resource Teacher

       Principal

       The ESL teacher assigned to the building will provide instructional support and materials.

When concerns arise regarding a students program, curriculum, and placement, the team outlined above will address these issues at an S3 meeting. The S3 Teams referrals may be requested by any staff member. The District ESL Title III supervisor will be notified when an S3 for an ELL is planned or when a particular students problem persists after interventions have been implemented as recommended by the S3 Team.

Pull-out: A program model in which a student is taken from the regular classroom instruction to receive individual or small group instruction.

Push-in: A program model in which a highly qualified teacher or ESL paraprofessional with SIOP training goes into the regular classroom to assist the teacher in delivering instruction to a select group of students.

SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Operational Protocol): A systemized set of strategies designed to help English learners master content and language simultaneously.

Social Language: Language proficiency in everyday communicative texts, or aspects of language proficiency that seem to be acquired naturally and without formal schooling. Research indicates that it can take one to three years for students to acquire social language (Cummins, J. 1984).

WIDA (World Class Instructional Design and Assessment) ACCESS: An annual assessment which is given to all K-12 English learners to measure progress in all domains of language learning. Michigan is part of this consortium and began implementing the assessment in the spring of 2014.