West Point Public Schools
English as a Second Language (ESL) Program
West Point has a diverse student population that includes students whose first language is not English. West Point is proud to offer a program of study for non-English speaking students known as English as a Second Language (ESL). The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program of West Point Public Schools was created and influenced from both the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.
The VDOE English Language Proficiency Standards of Learning support the English language development of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students. According to the Virginia Department of Education:
The goal of these standards is to provide the foundation that will enable LEP students to be successful in the English Standards of Learning, (SOL's), and to succeed in other content areas. This foundation is essential because LEP students are learning English as another language. The goal for the education of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students is to provide intensive instruction so that LEP students can develop English proficiency as quickly as possible in order to reach full educational parity with their peers in all academic subjects. Proficient use of the English language enables students to explore and articulate the complex issues and ideas encountered in public and personal life. Students acquire the ability to make full and effective use of the written language in their future educational, occupational, and personal endeavors. Through this program, non-English speaking students acquire the English skills necessary for communication and academic study. .
An LEP student in the Commonwealth of Virginia is classified according to the federal government definition as described in Public Law 114-95, the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.
An LEP student is classified as one :
(A) who is aged 3 through 21;
(B) who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;
(C) who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English; and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant
(ii) (I) who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of outlying areas; and
(II) who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency;
(iii) who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant;
(D) whose difficulties speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual --
(i) the ability to meet the State's proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3);
(ii) the ability to achieve successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
(iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.
[P.L. 107-110, Title IX, Part A, Sec. 9101, (25)]
ESL students enroll in our schools with a wide range of academic and first language skills. Some students come with delayed or interrupted schooling; others come from schools where academic instruction has been minimal; still others come with well-developed academics in their first language, but little to no knowledge of English. The goal of the program is to provide a nurturing classroom environment that develops high levels of English proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing while mastering the content area standards of learning.
All LEP students are assessed in order to measure their proficiency in English. Students new to West Point Public Schools take a placement test when they register. As a result of this placement test, students are designated as level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. All ESL students also participate in an annual English proficiency assessment mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Students who test proficient after being in the ESL program are designated M1 (monitor 1), M2 (monitor 2), M3 (monitor 3) or M4 (monitor 4). These students are still designated as LEP for four consecutive years. Their progress is formally monitored and they are entitled to all standard testing accommodations; however, they do not receive formal ESL instruction during this four year period. After this four year period, they are considered Formerly Limited English Proficient (FLEP) and officially complete the ESL program exit criteria.