How are students identified?
At the time of enrollment in the Blackstone-Millville Regional School District, parents complete a Home Language Survey for their child. If the parent indicates that the student’s primary language is something other than English, the student is referred for an English proficiency assessment. This year the MODEL screening tool will be administered by English as a Second Language teacher. This assessment provides the receiving teachers with language, cultural and background information on the incoming student. The results are used to determine a student’s overall ability to communicate and understand English through speaking, listening, reading and writing. Parents are advised of the program options and information regarding their rights to accept or reject the services available. If the parent declines services, state testing must still be administered. If the parent accepts the program recommendations, the student is then placed in ELL program services. Students are placed in programs according to their proficiency levels in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Where are ELL services provided?
In addition to regular instruction in the mainstream classrooms, ELL teachers provide services at each child’s school. The services are provided using a pull out model, where students are pulled from their classroom individually or in small groups. ELL services at the secondary level could be inclusion in an ELL class for a period of the day or could also use the pull out model, depending on the student’s schedule and school scheduling.

What is Sheltered English Immersion?
“Sheltering” English is a means of modifying curriculum, instructional strategies, assessment, and materials for all levels of English learners in the general education classroom. In Massachusetts, all classroom teachers and other professional staff were required by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to complete 4 categories of SEI, or Sheltered English Immersion training. This training builds their capacity to work effectively with all learners, including ELL students. Learning opportunities for all the new WIDA standards will be available to Blackstone-Millville Regional School District teachers through our professional development programming.

Is Program Participation Required?
Participation in the ELL program is optional and parents have the right to withdraw their child at any time. Parents who decline services, are informed that the Department of Education requires that their child must still take the English Language Proficiency Assessment test (ACCESS) annually until they receive a passing score or evidence of proficiency is established using another measure (IPT, DRA, etc.)

How long will my child be in the ELL Program?
The length of time your child will be in the ELL program depends on the development of English language skills. There are several factors including the age at which the language is being learned, years of language study, literacy skills in the native language, etc. Teachers are continually reviewing grades, reviewing mandated state tests results, teacher recommendations, and other criteria to determine when your child will no longer need language support. Research demonstrates that on average it takes 5-7 years for students to learn enough English to be successful in the classroom.