NEWTOWN SQUARE–NBC 10's Aditi Roy recently featured 's ELL (English for Language Learners) program.
Roy states that within a year, the students in the ELL program have to take the same PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assement) exams in both math and English just like the rest of their peers, in addition to regular state tests that they must take which tracks their progress.
"The state sets targets for ELL programs, and PSSA achievement is only one of them. ELLs in PA are assessed on both PSSA and the state ACCESS (an English proficiency test). They do not take PSSA reading or writing their first year in this country (they do take the PSSA math)," states Toni Himes, supervisor of language arts, reading and federal programs in the district, in an email issued out by the district.
According to Himes, the first target is in the area of percentages of ELLs making progress toward English proficiency on the state ACCESS exam. Himes describes the district's last three years as "excellent."Year State Target Marple Newtown Actual 2009-10 53% 75% 2008-09 51% 88.5% 2007-08 49% 80% Note: The state has not yet released the 2010-11 numbers yet.
The second target is in the number of ELLs meeting proficiency on the state ACCESS exam.Year State Target Marple Newtown Actual 2009-10 18% 43.5% 2008-09 16% 46.2% 2007-08 14% 31.1%
Note: The state has not yet released the 2010-11 numbers yet
The third target is in the area of meeting AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) on the PSSA but, according to Himes, the district does not receive scores in this area due to the fact that they do not have enough students in an individual building to meet the AYP calculation requirement for statistical significance.
In the Marple Newtown School District, there are currently 73 students in the ELL program and 56 students that are either first or second year monitored students. Monitored students are students who have left the program but require monitoring for two years. View the breakdown of ELL students in the program for each school below:
- : 7 students (3 monitored and 4 in the program). Home languages are Spanish, Albanian, Greek, and Malayalam.
- : 24 students (6 monitored and 19 in the program). Home languages are Bulgarian, Polish, Korean, Punjabi, Urdu, Armenian, Mandarin, Albanian, Persian, Japanese, Creole, and Cantonese.
- : 22 students (14 monitored and 8 in the program). Home languages are Punjab, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Albanian, Persian, Greek, Korean, Thai, and Persian.
- : 20 students (12 monitored and 8 in the program). Home languages are Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Korean, Greek, and Cantonese.
- : 26 students (11 monitored and 15 in the program). Home languages are Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian, Cantonese, Albanian, Malayalam, Spanish, Punjabi, Bulgarian, Korean, Greek, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
- : 24 students (10 monitored and 14 in the program). Home languages are Arabic, Chinese, Cantonese, Bulgarian, Persian, Albanian, Korean, Punjabi, and Vietnamese.
In addition to in-school help, ELL teachers may do home visits if needed by the student's family.