English as a Second Language Program
In compliance with the Civil Rights law, Pike Road Schools implements a program that is the most appropriate for the EL’s level of English proficiency. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin by recipients of federal financial assistance. The Title VI regulatory requirements have been interpreted to prohibit denial of equal access to education because of a language minority student's limited proficiency in English. The May 25, 1970 Memorandum was a policy statement issued by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. It was issued to clarify a school district’s responsibilities with respect to national-origin-minority children. It stated, in part, that "where inability to speak and understand the English language excludes national-origin-minority group children from effective participation in the educational program offered by a school district, the district must take affirmative steps to rectify the language deficiency in order to open the instructional program to the students." The Lau v. Nichols occurred in 1974, where the Supreme Court ruled that identical education does not constitute equal education under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Castañeda v. Pickard established a method to evaluate the adequacy of a district's program for EL students. In summary, PRS: (1) does not deny an EL student access to education because of a language barrier, (2) takes affirmative steps to help EL students overcome a language barrier in order to effectively participate in the educational program offered by our district, (3) develops an EL program that has a reasonable chance for success in the view of experts in the field, (4) ensures that the necessary staff, materials, and facilities are in place and used properly so that the program can be successfully implemented, and (5) evaluates the program and modifies where needed to ensure language barriers are overcome.
Pike Road Schools offers ongoing instructional support to English learners in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Resources are provided in order to support English learners (ELs) and their families. In addition, support services are provided to all lead learners. Lead learners will facilitate students’ acquisition of conversational (BICS) and academic English (CALP) through individualized and/or group instruction. Before enrolling/admission in the ESL program, learners are identified using their performance on an English language proficiency test, which focuses on four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The assessment is to determine to what extent learners are linguistically prepared for English work. The ESL services are provided to meet specific needs of our learners. Additionally, the ESL program strives to ensure that English learners, including immigrant learners and youth, advance in academic language development and academic achievement through high quality standards and assessments as all learners are expected to meet.
The ESL program goals are to help our ELs develop fluency in speaking, reading, and writing; to promote cross-cultural understanding and equal opportunity for academic achievement; to assist ELs in acquiring fluency in the English language skills of listening, speaking, reading, comprehending and writing; to provide limited-English proficient students with equal access to all school programs; to provide quality professional development to lead learners, administrators, and other school or community-based personnel.
The ESL program objectives are to increase the English proficiency of English learners by providing quality language instruction educational programs; to increase the academic achievement of English learners in the core academic subjects; to improve the instruction of English learners by providing quality professional development to lead learners, administrators, and other school or community-based personnel; and to improve the coordination between elementary/secondary language instruction education programs and other relevant programs and services.
Parents are encouraged to become involved partners with PRS. For additional information or if an interpreter is needed to help support conferences, please contact Michelle Azbell at 334-420-5310.