It is the belief of Dinwiddie County Public Schools that every student should be respected for his/her individuality, and receive an education designed to meet their identified needs. The purpose of our English Learners (EL) program is to ensure that EL students can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs.
School districts must have procedures in place to accurately and timely identify potential EL students. Dinwiddie County Public Schools provides a home language survey to gather information about a student’s language background and identify students whose primary or home language is something other than English. Dinwiddie County Public Schools will determine if the potential EL student is in fact a student in need of English Language services through a valid and reliable test that assesses English language proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
EL students are entitled to appropriate language assistance services to become proficient in English and to participate equally in standard instructional program within a reasonable period of time.
School districts can choose among programs designed for instructing EL students provided the program is educationally sound in theory and effective in practice. All EL students are entitled to services. Parents may, however, choose to opt their children out of a school district’s EL program or out of particular EL services within an EL program. A school district must still take steps to provide opted-out EL students with access to its educational programs, monitor their progress, and offer EL services again if a student is struggling.
Services are provided by licensed EL teachers and are based on age and level of proficiency. Services range from intensive one-on-one instruction to monitoring. The following priorities influence EL instruction in Dinwiddie County Public Schools:
- Ensure teachers and staff have the resources, knowledge, and skills required to effectively support English Language (EL) learners.
- Ensure EL students are reading on or above grade level before entering third grade.
- Expand effective communication and relationships with parents and community stakeholders by providing workshops/trainings.
- Provide professional development opportunities for ESOL endorsed teachers and classroom teachers of ELs that support delivery of high-quality language instruction.
Monitoring and Exiting
School districts must monitor the progress of all EL students to endure they achieve English Language proficiency and acquire content knowledge within a reasonable period of time. Districts must annually administer a valid and reliable English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment, in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, that is aligned to state ELP standards. An EL student must not be exited from EL programs, services, or status until he or she demonstrates English proficiency on an ELP assessment in specking, listening, reading, and writing. School districts must monitor the academic progress of former EL students for at least two years to ensure that students have not been prematurely exited; any academic deficits they incurred resulting from the EL program have been remedied; and they are meaningfully participating in the district’s educational programs comparable to peers who were never EL students.
Limited English Proficient (LEP) parents are entitled to meaningful communication in a language they can understand, such as through translated materials or a language interpreter, and to adequate notice of information about any program, service, or activity that is called to the attention of non-LEP parents.
For additional information please contact Penny L. Brooks at (804) 469-4190.