Our district welcomes children from all over the world. Our goal is to encourage English language learning and enhance each child's acculturation into the American education system. We have several options available for English language learners.
When a student qualifies for ESL services in elementary, there are a few different ways that services are given:
Students can also transition to the mainstream classroom once their English acquisition develops. Once a student exits, the student is still monitored for two years to ensure that the student has the necessary language development to gain success in their academic career.
The Language Academy is a program where secondary students who need ESL services can thrive in content curriculum while engaging with ESL endorsed teachers. The Language Academy exists in RHS, RJHS, and RMS. The Language Academy is divided into two different academies:
The Russellville School District offers translations and interpretations for staff to communicate with parents. Also, our district's Spanish language interpreter and community liaison offers outreach meetings called Cafecitos for parents to learn more about their student’s education in the district.
All families fill out the Home Language Survey when they enroll their children. This asks what language the student first learned. If it is not English, or if there is information that indicates another language, the staff assesses the student’s English skills. Based on the results, the student may qualify for ELL services.
Students that qualify for ELL services take an annual assessment of their English skills. This test is called ELPA 21. It is an online test. They continue to qualify for ELL services until they reach a high level of English proficiency and meet additional state criteria. The length of time to gain proficiency is unique to each child.
Every student that qualifies for ELL will receive services for ESL. Some may be in specific classes, through Language Academy or with ESL endorsed teachers, but some will be pulled for services. If a student has a high enough English acquisition, they will be monitored in mainstream classes.
No, the student may have a different native language such as Arabic or Vietnamese. Also, the student may speak English fluently and still need support in reading, writing, or listening. Just because a student no longer speaks their first language does not mean they are experiencing the same level of fluency in reading or writing.