When parents register
children for school, one of the documents they fill out is a Home Language Survey. The
purpose of the Home Language Survey is to determine if any other language in
addition to English is spoken at home.
The questions on the Home Language Survey help determine the English
language experience and language needs of the student, informing us as to whom
to test for English language proficiency.
If additional languages
are spoken by parents, caregivers or children at home, our ESL teacher(s) will
assess the English language proficiency of the student using the state required
language screening assessment, W-APT. The guidance provided by the screening
results will determine whether the student is or is not an EL (English Learner).
Some students who are
tested, however, will not be eligible for EL services. Students may be dominant in English, fully bi-lingual,
or multi-lingual. Nonetheless, we test students to protect their rights, and to
ensure that we provided the necessary supports to students as needed.
express anxiety over the need for the Home Language Survey. They worry that
their child will be segregated or stigmatized for their cultural background, or
because of the languages their parents or grandparents speak. In the Dallastown
Area School District, children are integrated in their classrooms. All
of our schools operate under the same curriculum and assessment expectations.
We pride ourselves in developing programs and instruction that are consistent,
no matter the building, no matter the student.
is home to more than 45,500 students whose native language is something other
than English. The ESL teacher plays an important role in bridging the gap
between a lack of English proficiency among students and their academic
performance, which supports the district vision of inspiring and creating pathways for student success.
schools are bound by law to provide ESL programs for students whose primary
language is something other than English. The Pennsylvania Department of
Education ensures that all ESL teachers are qualified and competent to teach
All of our district ESL teachers are certified teachers who are
required to have and maintain an ESL certification above and beyond the regular
educator certification. Likewise, all of our paraprofessionals are highly
qualified and trained to support EL students. Being able to get extra
instruction in English when a child needs it can be a critical advantage for ELs.
All of our ESL teachers actively participate in district
staff development, attend professional development in the field each year, and
help to train and support the regular education teachers on a regular basis.