The philosophy of the Elkhorn Public Schools ELL Program is to equip students to be effective thinkers and learners in English, so that they can achieve and maintain their highest academic potential, to promote awareness of the students’ cultures, and to educate staff and parents of the value and potential of the ELL Program.
Overview of Program
District personnel have developed a comprehensive plan for providing enhanced educational opportunities for students who have Limited-English Proficiency. The services are specifically designed for early intervention (ages 3-5) and school age instructional programs. The instructional approach used in the delivery of services shall be transitional in nature. The program will provide services to students who are English Language Learners and have Limited English Proficiency needs in the Elkhorn Public Schools. The District ELL Plan will provide the purpose and procedures used in the provision of services consisting of nine (9) elements.
The nine elements include:
- Exit Criteria
- Special Education
- Early Intervention (ages 3-5)
Each element of services shall be covered in a section of the guide containing a description identifying procedures for that element. Also, the guide will include forms and flow charts to provide direction and clarification of services to students, families, and school staff. The program is dynamic in that it relies upon ongoing modification and flexibility in order to meet the individual needs of the students. Implied within each element is the continued need to develop new products, to identify student activities and the necessary professional development for school personnel, and to use new resources to support children and families who require ELL and LEP services.
District personnel will continue to evaluate and establish goals and develop teaching strategies to provide quality services, which includes curriculum, instructional materials, and personnel to provide for the needs of the students. The Elkhorn Public Schools teachers, para-educators, counselors, and administrators understand the need for equal opportunity in education.
A sense of identity and a positive self-image are very important personal values included in the provision of ELL services.
PURPOSES OF ELL LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION
The Elkhorn Public Schools offers English Language Learner services structured to achieve the following purposes:
- To develop an understanding of English in the student who has been identified as limited English proficient. The services will enable students to be included in the regular prescribed English curriculum with optimal opportunities for success. These services will begin as early as age 3 and continue to graduation or completion of the school program.
- To develop proficiency in the basic communications skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing commensurate with the student’s level of ability and achievement.
- To improve grammar skills and increase vocabulary in English.
- To help each student realize their potential.
- To develop English communication skills to a level comparable to that of native speakers of English of the same age and ability.
- To encourage maintenance of the first language and to create awareness of the positive impact of bilingualism in enhancing educational opportunities.
- To encourage a positive identity and pride in the cultural heritage of participants in the program.
- To utilize the first language of the student as a support factor in instruction.
- To plan and encourage activities which enable families and/or community to be a part of the services.
- To provide incentives that will encourage participants to remain in school, to strive for educational success and to prepare students for their future.
For more information please contact Anne Doerr, Director of Student Services at (402) 289-2579.