English as a Second Language Program (ESL)
The Fort Cherry School District strives to meet the needs of all students regardless of native language through the English as a Second Language Program. This is a K-12 instructional program that addresses the needs of English language learners (ELLs) who are learning to speak, read, and write English. Through the use of a home language survey provided during school entrance registration, the district and families are able to work together to identify potential language needs for those whose dominate language is not English.
If a need for English language instruction is identified, students then are able to receive English language proficiency instruction from a certified English as a Second Language teacher in both the Elementary Center and Jr./Sr. High School buildings. This planned instruction will focus on instructing the students to communicate in both academic and social contexts using Pennsylvania State Academic standards that align with the English Language Proficiency standards that address the domains of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This pull out instruction for reading and language arts will be scheduled daily and the amount of instruction will vary depending on proficiency level.
The ESL teacher also works diligently with teachers of other content areas to help the ELL become successful in the regular classroom through the use of various strategies, modifications, and accommodations of materials. Additionally, both district and the WIDA ACCESS for English Language Learners assessments will be used to assess language proficiency levels, make placements, and monitor progress year to year.
We realize the importance of cultural diversity, and as a result, the ESL and content area teachers foster the development of the English language, while acknowledging the importance of one’s home culture and language. As a result, there is continual communication between the families and district to ensure students are making progress both academically and socially, as well as, achieving language proficiency standards across the curriculum. Our goal is to help English language learners to adapt to their new culture while ensuring full access to all educational and extracurricular opportunities provided by the district.