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Danville Area School District

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is ELD?

English Language Development (ELD) refers to an instructional program for students who are developing proficiency in English. English Language Learners (ELLs) refer to the students who are enrolled in ELD classes. Many ELs are fluent in more than two languages when they begin to learn English.

Students whose heritage language is other than English and who are not yet proficient in English are eligible for ELD. Students who were born in the United States and speak a heritage language other than English are enrolled in ELD programs if they need to develop proficiency in English. Americans often speak another first language and many do not learn English until they are in school. The key indicator is the student's home language and English proficiency in all domains: listening, speaking, reading and writing on grade level.

What are the criteria for inclusion to be in ELD?

The Home Language Survey is completed by every student at registration. If the survey indicates a home language influence other than English, the ELD teacher reviews the student's records for evidence of academic achievement and proficiency in English. In addition, the ELD teacher conducts an initial evaluation through an oral interview with the parents/guardians of the student. If the interview indicates that the student may need ELD support, the ELD teacher will administer the WIDA Screener to determine the student's level of language proficiency and appropriate placement.

What is the timeline for the implementation of WIDA screening for prospective ELD students?

Students are screened by the ELD teacher who services their specific building.  Students who are newly enrolled at the beginning of the school year will be tested within the first 30 days of the school year. Students who register after the school year begins will be tested within the first fourteen (14) calendar days within our district.  Testing will take place in the student's building. 

Is there a typical timeline for an average student to develop English proficiency?

There is considerable variability in the time it takes learners to become proficient in English. Second, language acquisition research suggests that students develop basic social and interpersonal communication skills within two years. However, reaching "native-like proficiency" in an academic language may take from five to nine years with appropriate support. Without appropriate support, an English Language Learner is unlikely to achieve competency in academic English that is necessary to succeed in school.

What type of ELD support is offered at Danville Area School District?

The LIEP at DASD is comprised of mixed classes with English-only support.  Students are included in the regular education curriculum. An ELD teacher may also provide English instruction in a small group setting or one-on-one, depending upon the age and language needs of the student.  ELD Specific instruction is provided by a teacher certified in K-12 ESL by the State of Pennsylvania. Classroom teachers provide scaffolds and tools to help the student to be successful in the classroom setting. 

When can a student exit ELD?

Students must meet the exit criteria of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Danville Area School District to be exited from the ELD program in our district. PDE requires that an English language learner score BASIC on the PSSA in reading and math; score Bridging (5) on the WIDA Access Test for ELs; and achieve final grades of C or better in core content areas or earn scores on district assessments that are comparable to Basic performance on the PSSA.  ELD teachers collaborate with school faculty to make exit decisions.

The academic progress of students who exit the ELD Program is monitored for two years through periodic review of grades, district and state assessments, and teacher reports. Students are then moved to an additional two-year post-monitoring period where they are tracked through the PIMS system.