ESL Programs Profile

The current English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in Putnam City Schools are designed to meet the requirements of the NCLB Act of 2001 (NCLB). In addition to language instruction, they are organized to identify, assess and serve all eligible students as required by the NCLB Act. Furthermore, proper procedures are established to document the learning progress of our English language learners. A monitoring system has been put in place to guarantee the success of the students who have exited the program up to two years after being proficient in English. The ESL programs encompass research-based curricula, which are typically found in school districts across the United States.

Putnam City School District ESL teachers provide appropriate English language instruction to all students who have been identified as English language Learners (ELL). Currently, the district has 26.5 ESL teachers, six bilingual assistants, 1.5 ELL graduation coaches, and one Title III programs coordinator serving our ELL students in 27 sites. Additionally, bilingual tutors are contracted on an hourly basis to help our ELL students on IEP, and interpreters are hired to provide communicative support during parent conferences and special events.

Program Overview
Below is an overview of the language development programs and related services that the district has provided to ELL students, as well as concerted efforts to promote parental outreach among our ELL parents.

The ESL pull-out model is used in our elementary schools in the form of small flex groups. Students spend most of the school day in a mainstream classroom, but are pulled out for 30 minutes at least three times a week to receive ESL instruction.

Pull-in or Push-in
The pull-in or push-in model is used in some of our elementary school settings as well. The ESL teacher goes into the regular classrooms to teach the ELL students. The content of the instruction is based on the objectives selected by the regular classroom teacher(s). The nature of this ESL instructional model is content-based. We take advantage of this model when our ESL teachers are certified in elementary education, and they are able to work collaboratively with the mainstream classroom teacher.

Class Period
The ESL class period is used in the middle and high school settings. Students receive ESL instruction during the regular class period. They are grouped for ESL instruction according to their level of English proficiency. Students are usually pulled out from an elective subject.

Sheltered English
The sheltered English model is used to group language minority students from different language backgrounds together in classes where the ESL teacher is also certified in high school English. High school students are given English credit for successful completion of Sheltered English classes, thereby giving them the opportunity to enroll in an end-of-instruction tested subject while striving to master academic English.

Learning Today or Spotlight Online
This program is a web-based literacy program designed by Santillana USA to provide literacy instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension. It is a supplementary program for our K-5th grade students. A new version is now available for middle school students. Since this program is on the web, students and their parents have access to it at home. It also provides frequent performance results for our mainstream teachers, so they can address students’ literacy weaknesses before it is too late. This program may be used for Response to Intervention (RTI) as well.

Tutoring for ELL students on IEP
Considering the needs of our ELL students on Individual Education Plans (IEPs), additional instruction is necessary. Contracted on an hourly basis, three bilingual tutors provide tutoring services to our ELL students on IEP. Additionally, a tutor has been contracted to provide testing and occasional services at Putnam City Academy and Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic School.

ELL Graduation Coach
The ELL Graduation Coach program is designed to prevent dropouts among ELL students at Putnam City West and Putnam City High.

Interpretation Services
Putnam City families speak 39 different languages in their homes. Since Spanish and Vietnamese are our two dominant languages in the district, we routinely provide interpretation and written documents in those languages. Upon request, the district can sometimes provide interpretation and written documents for students’ parents (and in some cases, students themselves) who speak other languages.