District 303 values the cultural diversity among our schools and is committed to meet the needs of its English Learners (ELs). St. Charles School District 303 serves over 600 English Learners with over 40 different native language backgrounds.
As is true for all District 303 students, the district goal is to assist its English Learners in meeting Illinois Learning Standards. At the same time, for English Learners, we also strive to develop a student's academic English language to meet the Illinois English Language Proficiency Standards. These standards address the academic and social aspects of language in the school setting and content areas of Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
Students must be proficient in academic English to be successful in school. Academic English is used in textbooks and classrooms, and it is the foundation of educational assessments.
Illinois is one of 39 states that utilizes WIDA and WIDA assessments in serving English Learners. WIDA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving English language development and academic achievement through standards, research, assessment, and professional development. All Illinois English language proficiency screeners and assessments are published by WIDA.
The state of Illinois requires all school districts to screen students from homes where languages in addition to or other than English are spoken. A Home Language Survey is given to each student when they enroll in the district for the first time. If a parent indicates on the Home Language Survey that there is another language other than English spoken in the home, students are then given a WIDA screening assessment to determine their level of English language proficiency and eligibility for English language support at school. If eligible, parents are notified of the placement recommendation for their child and the student can then begin to receive support from a teacher certified in teaching English Learners.
Annual Assessments & Communication
Eligible ELL students are assessed each year to determine their progress toward English language proficiency. Parents will receive the results of the assessment along with information stating whether the student continues to be eligible for English language services.
English Proficiency & Program Exit
The annual assessment (WIDA ACCESS test) measures a student's proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students who achieve an overall score of at least 4.8 will exit the ELL program. After exiting, the English language teacher will continue to consult with the general classroom teachers and monitor the student's progress for a period of 2 years.
English as a Second Language (Transitional Program of Instruction or TPI)
This program is offered to students in schools in which there are 19 or fewer Limited English Proficient (LEP) students of the same language group. Students are assigned to a general education classroom and receive specialized instruction from an ELL teacher. The majority of time, the ELL teacher works in the student's general classroom to provide instruction; however, there may be times when a student is instructed outside of his/her general class in a small group setting for targeted English Language Development.
These services are available at the following schools: Anderson, Bell-Graham and Corron Elementary, Davis Primary, Ferson Creek, Fox Ridge, Munhall and Norton Creek Elementary, Richmond Intermediate and Wild Rose Elementary schools. English Learners in schools that do not have ELL teachers are eligible to attend neighboring schools to receive those services.
Native Spanish Tutors
There are native Spanish Tutors on staff to assist students who benefit from this support.
Dual Language Program
Bilingual education is provided to students in schools in which there are 20 or more Limited English Proficient students of the same language group. District 303 currently offers an elementary bilingual Spanish program at Davis Primary and Richmond Intermediate schools, and Spanish speaking students whose schools do not have the bilingual program are eligible to attend at one of these schools. It is a Dual Language One-Way program: dual meaning the instruction is provided in two languages, the native language (Spanish) and English, and one way meaning the students enrolled are from the same single native language background (Spanish). English and Spanish language proficiency screenings identify eligible students for this program.
Goals of the District 303 Elementary Dual Language Program
The ELL services and program structure in grades 6-12 align with each building's class schedule. This program can also be broken down into two service models; however, the classes within each model may differ depending on a student's native language and proficiency level. These services are available at the following schools: Thompson and Wredling Middle Schools and St. Charles East High School. Students at St. Charles North High School are eligible to attend St. Charles East to receive these services.
English as a Second Language (ESL) courses offered to high school students can be found in the high school Course Offering Book. Students in need of native language support in Spanish receive services from a Bilingual certified teacher. Additionally, Native Spanish Tutors are on staff to assist students who benefit from this support.
Director of Language Acquisition