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English Language Learners

According to the Illinois School Code, an individual language proficiency screening is administered to each student identified through the home language survey as being a possible English Language Learner (ELL). In order for a student to be screened for English language proficiency, parents must indicate on the School registration form that another language is spoken at the home. The screening consists of the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) for Kindergarten and first semester first grade students and the Wide Access Placement Test (W-APT) for students in grades two through eight. Second semester first graders are given the W-APT.

The screening takes place within 30 days of enrollment. If a student is determined to be limited English proficient, his/her parents will be informed in writing of the results of the screening and the services to be provided. Such services most frequently consist of tutoring on a pull-out basis.

Students identified as ELL are assessed annually with the ACCESS test which is required under the No Child Left Behind legislation passed in 2001. ACCESS is a standards-based, criterion referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English language learners’ social and academic proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science and social studies within the school context across the four language domains: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Parents may refuse ELL services by writing a letter stating that they refuse services. However, this parental statement does not relinquish the school’s obligation to annually assess the student’s language proficiency with the ACCESS for ELLs.