English Language Learners

ESOL stands for English to Speakers of Other Languages. The ESOL Program of the Newton County School System offers additional language instruction to any student who is identified as an English Learner (EL). The Newton County School System’s ESOL program is designed to help students attain their full academic and social potential within the culture of an American school. The ESOL program provides instruction to develop students' proficiency in English in the four areas of language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In addition, the ESOL program seeks to create supportive learning environments in your child's classroom and school, and to build on students' academic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds.

Title III is a federally funded program that provides eligible Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with sub grants to help ensure that English learners (ELs), including immigrant children and youth, attain English proficiency and develop high levels of academic achievement in English. Title III supplements those ESOL services already in place.

Enrollment and Screening for English Proficiency

Upon enrollment in NCSS, all parents answer Language Background questions found on the Home Language Survey. When newly enrolled students have a primary or a home language other than English (PHLOTE), they are screened for proficiency in English, even if English is one of the languages they speak. The screening assessment used is the Kindergarten WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (Kindergarten W-APT) for students entering Kindergarten through the first semester of first grade, and the WIDA Screener for students in the second semester of first grade through twelfth grade.

Students who are not yet proficient are considered to be English Learners (ELs) and are eligible for language support services until they become proficient.

Programs for EL Students

NCSS provides EL students with language assistance tailored to their individual English language development needs through a variety of research-based models. All schools are staffed with English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsed or certified teachers.

The ESOL teacher may provide direct instruction to the EL students within the regular classroom in conjunction with the regular teacher, or in the ESOL classroom in an academic content area course where the teacher holds certification, and/or in the ESOL classroom through a separate ESOL class to support the content area teachers, or on a consultative basis outside of the classroom. Any combination of these services may be appropriate.

The ESOL Department also provides support and professional learning for regular classroom teachers, so that they can actively engage their EL students in learning grade level academic language, content, and skills.

Assessing Progress toward and Attainment of Proficiency
EL students’ level of proficiency in English is assessed every year to determine their progress toward proficiency in social, instructional, and academic English. The assessment that students take is called the ACCESS for ELLs. It checks their proficiency level in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English. When they attain full proficiency and are prepared for academic language tasks across the content areas of language arts, math, science, and social studies, they exit language support services. Students are then actively monitored for a two-to four-year period to ensure that they successfully transition to learning in the regular classroom without language support.

Parent Resources:

ESOL and Title III Contacts:
Mr. Benjamin Roundtree, Title III Director
Mrs. Maria Howell, ESOL Coordinator
Mrs. Erin Gonzalez, Title III Student Support Specialist