Education of Children with Limited English Proficiency
Agora Cyber Charter School is committed to the provision of educational programs and services to provide an appropriate planned instruction program for identified students whose dominant language is not English. The purpose of the program is to increase the English language proficiency of eligible students so that they can attain the academic standards adopted by the Board and achieve academic success.
1. GENERAL PURPOSE AND DEFINITIONS
1.1 Purpose. In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000D et seq., the District (Charter School) and its employees, agents, and contractors are strictly prohibited, in the operation of any program or the provision of any benefit, from any form of discrimination against any person or group on the basis of the race, color, or national origin of that person or group. Toward that end, the Charter School is committed to the provision of educational programs and services to provide an appropriate planned instruction program for identified students whose dominant language is not English. The purpose of the program is to increase the English language proficiency of eligible students so that they can attain the academic standards adopted by the Board and achieve academic success.
1.2 Definitions. For purpose of this policy, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
1.2.1 Limited English proficient or limited English proficiency: This term shall apply to the child of school age who-
- a) either (i) was not born in the United States or whose native language is other than English and comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; or (ii) is a Native American or Alaska Native who is a native resident of the outlying areas and comes from an environment where language other than English has had a significant impact on such an individual’s level of English language proficiency, or (iii) is migratory and whose native language is other than English and comes from and environment where a language other than English is dominant; and
- b) has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing or understanding the English language and whose difficulties may deny such individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English or to participate fully in our society.
1.2.2 English as a second language (ESL). This term shall apply to instruction and related programs and services designed to teach children with limited English proficiency social and academic language skills as well as the cultural aspects of the English language necessary to succeed in an academic environment and contribute to society. Such instruction shall consist of courses carefully articulated from Grades K through 12 in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing at appropriate developmental and proficiency levels with little or no use of the native language. Courses shall be correlated to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
1.2.3 Bilingual instruction. This term shall apply to an instruction program in which two languages are used; the program provides ESL instruction and utilizes the student’s native language as the medium for instruction in the content areas; language arts instruction in the student’s native language is also provided.
2.1 The Charter School shall adopt a program of educational services for each student whose dominant language is not English. The program shall include bilingual/bicultural or English as a Second Language instruction. The program shall meet the three-pronged test of program compliance:
- a) sound research-based education theory,
- b) sufficient resources and staffed by appropriate prepared personnel, and
- c) periodic program evaluation.
2.2 The Board shall make provisions for the LEP programs in its Strategic Plan
2.3 The Board shall include provisions for the LEP professional education for ESL teachers, classroom teachers of LEP students and new teachers in its professional development plan.
3. DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO THE CEO
3.1 Responsibilities delegated. The CEO or his or her designee or designees shall develop written procedure, guidelines, and curricula under which a consistent, School- wide program of public awareness, screening, assessment, instruction and monitoring is implemented to meet the needs of every child with limited English proficiency. Such program, at a minimum shall consist of the following elements:
3.1.1 Student enrollment procedures
- a) An assurance that all PA residents of school age will have the right to enroll and attend school under satisfactory proof of residency, immunization, regardless of their English proficiency.
- b) Use of a home language survey with all families of school age children who are enrolled or are presented for enrollment. Such a survey shall conform as closely as possible to the form provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The survey will be filed in the student’s permanent record folder through graduation.
3.1.2 Assessment procedures for program entrance, measuring progress in gaining English proficiency, and program exiting.
- a) Such assessment shall address the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and written skills as well as the academic progress as they relate to the attainment of Commonwealth and School-established academic standards.
- b) A scope and sequence of planned course of ESL instruction for children in Grades K through 12, that is based on sound educational and second language acquisition theory. The planned course and related programs and services may, but are not required to, include bilingual instruction.
3.1.3 A plan for the acquisition and training of appropriate PA certified staff to provide the ESL assessments and program.
3.1.4 Accommodations for English Language Learners (ELL) in the regular education setting
3.1.5 Instructional resources comparable to resources provided in other core academic subjects.
3.1.6 Students shall have access to and should be encouraged to participate in all academic and extracurricular activities available in the school.
3.1.7 Grading and graduation policies
3.1.8 List of resources including support agencies and interpreters
3.1.9 Communication with parents about assessment, academic achievement and other related education issues in the language understood by the parent whenever possible.
This policy is written to reflect current law and is in accordance with LEP State Regulations PDE Publication: Guidebook for Planning Programs for English Language Learners, May 2002.
Authority: The Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S. C. 2000d et seq. 34 C.F.R. PART 1000; 22 pa Code 4.26; Castaneda v. Packard, 648 F 2d 989 (1982)