English to Speakers of Other Languages

The English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is a federally mandated instructional program for eligible English Learners (ELs) in grades K-12. The purpose of the ESOL language program is to provide English language development instruction and language support to eligible K-12 ELs in the Newton County School System (NCSS) for the purpose of increasing their English language proficiency and academic achievement.

Title III is a federally funded program that provides eligible school districts with sub grants to help ensure that 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. For students entering Kindergarten through the first semester of first grade, the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is administered. The WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is an individually administered paper-and-pencil test. Students enrolling in first grade second semester through twelfth grade are administered the WIDA Screener Online to assess the student’s English listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiency.  

Students who are not yet proficient are considered to be ELs and are eligible for ESOL services until they become proficient. Parents have a right to refuse ESOL services annually.

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 ESOL-endorsed or certified teachers.

All NCSS schools utilize the state approved ESOL delivery models. The ESOL teacher may provide direct instruction to the EL students within the regular classroom in conjunction with the regular teacher, and/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. 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