English Language Learner Program

ell-in-actionWest Side Summit (WSS) is committed to meeting the educational needs of all students, and preparing them for the academic demands of post secondary education, in an English speaking environment.

The mission of our English Language Learner (ELL) program is to ensure equality and access to high quality education for all students, by educating students in Academic English proficiency. Such proficiency is necessary for students to participate fully in the mainstream classroom.

Furthermore, West Side Summit (WSS) is committed to increasing students’ Basic communication. Strong social communication is a necessary both inside and outside of school; WSS is committed to preparing all students for full participation in American society. The following document outlines West Side Summit’s processes and guidelines for identifying, serving and exiting students who require services from the ELL program.

I. Identification Process

  • The Home Language Survey tells if the student has first learned a language other than English, comes from a home where the language usually spoken is other than English, or usually speaks a language other than English.
  • The student is determined by the WIDA language test to need more English skills, to participate fully in academic classes taught in English.
  • The WIDA language tests writing, speaking, listening and reading in English.

II. Program Placement

A. WSS will also use the following factors to determine if a student needs ELL services: the WIDA test, number of years in the country, whether or not English is spoken at home, other educational needs affecting language proficiency needs, student interview and parental input. A parent has the right to refuse services, however the student’s English skills will continue to be tested once per school year.

III. Parent/Custodial Notification

A. Parents will be notified within 10 days if their student qualifies for ELL services. The notification will: inform the parents of their students enrollment in the program, offer a simple explanation of the program, inform parents that they can visit the school and observe the program, schedule a conference to discuss the program, and that they can remove their student from the program.

IV. Services Provided

A. ELL Student Service Models:

Sheltered Newcomer Services: Newcomer Services concentrate on the academic areas of reading and writing, vocabulary development, speaking and listening. Students will also learn social skills needed in the classroom setting. Instruction is in English.

Sheltered Pull-Out Instruction: West Side Summit’s ELL pull-out program groups students according to their language proficiency, and grade level cluster. Ideally, students are pulled out during a time when they will not miss core content instruction. ELL teachers teach items from the classroom, and address other language needs as they arise.

Push-In Instruction: Students are served in the mainstream classroom through co-teaching, direct academic English language instruction. The students are instructed by the classroom teacher, and the ELL teacher.

Collaborative Teaching: The ELL teacher works with the classroom teacher’s materials and helps the student gain understanding. The materials are not made more simple, rather they teacher help the student understand the same materials as their classmates.

Monitor Status: Students attend mainstream classes throughout the school day. Students do not receive regularly scheduled pull-out or push-in instruction. The students’ ELL teacher will observe and monitor their growth to ensure they continue to succeed in the classroom.

V. Annual Progress Evaluation

A. All students who are identified as having Limited English proficiency (LEP) in kindergarten through grade 12, must take the WIDA-Access test for ELLs.
B. WIDA results are reported in six proficiency levels: Entering, Beginning, Developing, Expanding, Bridging, and Attained.
C. WIDA proctors are well trained.
D. Students will take the access test in the state mandated test window.
E. WIDA scores are not released to the school until the following school year, and will be sent to parents at that time.
F. Students who have an overall score of proficient (Composite 5), and a Writing score no lower than a 4, will be put on monitor status for a year prior to exiting the ELL program.

VI. Exiting the Program:

A. Students will be exited from the program when:

  1. Access scores from the previous school year are in AND
  2. The student has an overall composite score of at least 4.5, and three out of the four domain scores are at least 3.5

*These criteria mirror Minnesota Department of Education recommendations.

Download the Full Version of the West Side Summit ELL Program description HERE.

Meet the Teacher

english-lang-devEnglish Language Development ~ Desarrollo del Idioma Inglés

My name is Robin Slaman. I have a B.A. in english literature from the University of South Carolina and did my licensure work at Hamline University. I also studied linguistics at Arizona State University’s Graduate school before moving to Minnesota in 2007. I studied teaching English as a second language at Hamline University from 2012-2015 while working as a substitute teacher for Minneapolis Public Schools. I started at West Side Summit in 2015, teaching English Language Learners. In my free time I like to tend to my garden, read Star Wars novels and make sure my 2nd grader does his homework.
Mi nombre es Robin Slaman. Tengo una licenciatura en literatura inglesa de la Universidad de Carolina del Sur y realicé mi trabajo de certificación en la Universidad de Hamline. También estudié lingüística en la facultad de posgrado de la Universidad de Arizona State antes de mudarme a Minnesota en 2007. Estudié enseñanza del idioma inglés como segunda lengua en la Universidad de Hamline de 2012 a 2015, mientras trabajaba como maestra suplente para las Escuelas Públicas de Minneapolis. Comencé a trabajar en West Side Summit en 2015, impartiendo clases a estudiantes del idioma inglés. En mi tiempo libre me gusta cuidar de mi jardín, leer novelas de Star Wars y asegurarme de que mi hijo, que está en segundo grado, haga su tarea.

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