ESL Program Analysis Essay
Jennifer L Givens
Grand Canyon University: EED 544
May 8, 2013
ESL Program Analysis Essay
The Springfield R-12 School District, located in Springfield, Missouri, is the largest, fully accredited school district in the state with a student population of over 24,000. The majority of their students attend one of their thirty-six elementary schools which house grades K-5, one of their nine middle schools which are grades 6-8 or one of their five high schools. Students also have the opportunity to attend the Phelps Center for Gifted Education and an Early Childhood Center. Springfield Public Schools (SPS) caters to the diversity of its many students by including such programs as the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at the elementary, middle and high school levels, Wonder of the Ozarks Learning Facility (WOLF) and the Middle College Program. All five of their high schools are designated Missouri A+ schools, which allows a high school student to graduate and have their first two years of college paid for by an A+ scholarship. (www.springfieldpublicschoolsmo.org).
The Springfield Public Schools English Language Learner (ELL) program has been a part of their district since the 1980s, per Rhonda Hittenberger-Ortiz, ELL Liaison. At the program’s inception all students were serviced either at Central High School or through itinerant teachers who traveled around the district seeing students once or more per week. In the last five year their ELL population has grown quickly and a full-time coordinator was hired in 2011. Currently, they have eight ELL “site schools” where ELL students are clustered to receive regular language support from an on-site ELL teacher. These schools include four elementaries, one intermediate, two middle schools and one high school. Parents are given the choice to transfer their children to these schools or to leave them at their home school. For students who are not at the site schools, the district has an instructional coach who works with the mainstream teachers of the ELL students. Currently the district has 850 students in the ELL program. Program Details
Springfield Public Schools uses different methods in their program. The Elementary sites mostly implement the push-in or collaborative teaching method in which ELL and mainstream teachers work together within the classroom, sharing content and language goals for each lesson. The pull-out method is used for the lowest English proficient students. Secondary sites schedule students into English-instruction classes and the teachers also go into content classrooms to work with ELLs individually or in small groups. Assessments
Students take the same assessments that all other students in the district take but with certain accommodations such as interpreters, extra time, etc. Springfield R-12 uses the following assessments: DRA2 (grades K-2), Scantron Performance Series Assessment for Reading, Language Arts and Math (grades 3-12), the Missouri Assessment Program (grades 3-8) and End-of-Course exams (grades 9-12). In addition, ELL students take a yearly progress test to provide data to the state of Missouri. The yearly exams shows progress in English proficiency and how many students are achieving English proficiency. Springfield Public Schools regularly meets the state-established goals. The expectation for reaching English proficiency varies widely and depends on many factors. State Guidelines
The State of Missouri’s English Language Proficiency Standards and Grade Level Expectations are based on World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA). WIDA establishes, for educators, high quality standards, assessments, research and professional development. These help teachers with language development and to help increase academic achievement for their English Language Learners (http://wida.us/index.aspx). English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is the teaching approach of choice in Missouri. Typically...
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