English as a Second Language
The Owen J. Roberts English as a Second Language (ESL) department consists of two teachers who each hold an ESL program specialist certificate. Schools in the district with students who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs) are instructed by these teachers. The district's ELLs represent many different countries including, but not limited to, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Korea, China, India, Philippines, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Liberia, and Zimbabwe.
Students are identified as English language learners by a process mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Once identified, the OJR School District is held accountable for providing research based instruction to ensure that our ELLs are making progress toward English language proficiency as measured by the state English language proficiency assessment (currently the ACCESS for ELLs®).
ESL instruction is differentiated with regards to each student’s level of English proficiency, grade level and previous school experience.
It is the regular classroom teacher’s responsibility to adapt appropriate curriculum materials for an ESL student.
Parent communication is an integral part of the ESL program. The district has several services in place to make communicating with all of our ELLs’ families possible.
ELLs are expected to meet content standards in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, world languages, fine arts, health and physical education. Appropriate accommodations may be needed in these areas and must be evidenced through some type of documentation. ELLs must have equal access to all academic programs and extracurricular activities with accommodations for their English proficiency levels.
According to NCLB, English language learners may not be placed in special education as a means of receiving English language instruction. However, if the student is diagnosed with learning disabilities other than language deficiency, ESL instruction will be provided in addition to the student's special education program.