Agora prides itself on serving students to reach their highest potential. Attending specifically to English Language Learners (ELLs), the English Language Development Program at Agora supports students with a specific need to attain English Language proficiency to engage in classroom instruction and beyond. Some native languages spoken at Agora include Spanish, Arabic, Yiddish, Russian, and Chinese. A variety of tools, including translation services, are used to meet learners’ and families’ needs to fully engage with Agora’s school community.
“I love you Agora. My children studied at Agora for 3 years. It was a great school for them. I had all the support of the teachers and my student advisor…Thank you Agora for all your support in the country for all immigrants. ”
Former Agora ELD Program Parent
English Language Learners over the years that have been successful are engaging in specially designed instruction to meet their specific language acquisition needs. It takes effort, learning coach support, and determination just like it does for any other student.
- Once indicated that English is not the first language, the EL Specialist is notified, parents are contacted for more information, and Agora’s academic teams are made aware of the special circumstances.
- The EL Specialist gathers and reviews all pertinent information such as birthplace, first language, previous school experience, parental input, how long in the US, how long speaking English, and ACCESS scores (English Language Proficiency Assessment), then shares and collaborates with the team.
- EL Specialist works with the Agora teachers to ensure lessons and assessments are appropriate for all learners within the Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS) framework.
- Accommodations are made as needed to help bridge the language and academic gaps which are based on proficiency levels. Necessary accommodations for PSSA/Keystone are also made as needed.
- Annually, the EL Specialist meets individually with the students to administer the WIDA ACCESS and the Alternate ACCESS assessment, adhering to the PA Standards and Guidelines, to measure speaking, listening, reading, and writing growth. The results are shared with the families. PA state guidelines are followed for exiting students from the EL program.
- Imagine Learning EL platform, Reading A-Z, and other language programs are available as added resources to assist with language competence. Students work independently, in small groups, or individually based on specific needs.