Title III – English Language Acquisition
Megan Becker K-12 Coordinator
Heidi Shewmaker K-5 EL Teacher
Every Student Succeeds Act Title III: Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient & Immigrant Students Program
Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title III: Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students is a federal program that assists immigrant and limited English proficient (LEP) students in achieving grade-level and graduation standards, as well as acquiring the English language.
The purpose of the Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students Title III Program is to assist school districts in teaching English to limited English proficient students. Additionally, the Title III funds are to be used in helping these students meet the same challenging state standards required of all students.
Title III in the Gooding School District
The purpose of this federal grant program is to provide funds to improve the education of limited English proficient students, including immigrant children and youth, by assisting the children and youth to learn English and meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards.
Priorities are to:
- increase English proficiency and academic achievement in core academic subjects of limited English proficient students by providing high-quality language instruction programs and content area teaching;
- provide high-quality professional development to enable classroom teachers to deliver effective sheltered content and English language instruction; and develop, implement, and provide extended day, weekend, and summer opportunities for English language and academic content instruction for limited English proficient students; and
- promote parental, family, and community participation in programs for limited English proficient children, including immigrant children and youth.
All Title III funds must be used so as to supplement the level of local, state, and federal funds that, in the absence of Title III funds, would otherwise be expended for programs for LEP students and immigrant children and youth, and in no case supplant such federal, state, and local funds.
What is an English Learner?
English Learner Defined
The first step in providing services to English Learners (ELs) is to identify students registering for school who may qualify for placement into a district/charter Language Instruction Educational Program. EL students in Idaho are classified according to the Federal government definition as described in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Section 3201(5). An English Learner student is classified as one
- who is aged 3 through 21;
- who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;
- (i.) who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;
(ii.) (I) who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the 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; -OR-
- 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; -AND-
- whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual—
- the ability to meet the State’s proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3);
- the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
- the opportunity to participate fully in society.
How are students identified as EL (English Learners)?
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has been reauthorized eight times since its inception in 1965. Under the most recent reauthorization which passed in December 2015, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to adopt standardized statewide procedures and UPDATED criteria for entry into an English Learner status.
- Districts/Charters must not discriminate in how they approach identifying students whom may lack the English proficiency needed to achieve academic and career success.
- To address these requirements the Idaho SDE in collaboration with the English Learner (EL) Advisory Group, developed a standardized Home Language Survey (HLS) that all districts may implement to start the EL identification process.
To accurately and efficiently identify students who are potential English Learners, districts/charters are required to administer the Idaho HLS to all newly enrolling students to the state. The HLS is given during enrollment to assist districts/charters to identify students who may need English language support services, due to a limited amount of previous English language exposure. This is the first step in the process to determine whether a language other than English is dominant and determine the degree in which the student’s English language proficiency is sufficient to access grade-level content leading to ultimate academic success. The HLS is designed to be the first piece of evidence gathered in deciding to administer an English language proficiency screener to a student.
If the HLS presents a student who potentially qualifies as an EL, the WIDA screener is given to identify students. Students may screen out and will not receive the services. Students that do qualify will be eligible to receive EL interventions. If the parent does not want their child to receive services, a waiver must be signed each year of the student being identified as an English Learner, and will still take yearly tests.
In the spring, tests will be administered to students in the EL program to measure their growth in English Proficiency. Results will be sent at the end of the year and will be used to continue their English Learner Plan.
Anti-Discrimination Policies and Practices
To comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, T.C.A 4-21-90, and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, Gooding School District has anti-discriminatory policies which preclude denial of equal education opportunities to individuals based on race, color, or national origin. To comply with anti-discriminatory policies, district practices must not result in the inappropriate placement of ELLs in or exclusion from special opportunity programs or activities based on English language proficiency or national origin. The Supreme Court decision, Plyler v. Doe, 1982, prohibits school districts from denying undocumented immigrant children a free public education and rejects the denial or exclusion of educational services for immigrant children due to financial burden.
For more information on the identification of EL students