Queen Kaahumanu School’s EL Program strives to provide students with supplementary learning opportunities that are based on their needs and allow them to strive toward achievement of academic standards. When planning areas of study, the program takes into account:
-The student’s background, needs, strengths, and goals;
-The different philosophies on language/culture learning;
-The research-based methods on improving communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, and understanding), basic life skills, higher order thinking skills, and content area knowledge/skills;
-The grade level and WIDA standards;
-The various instructional groupings that will maximize learning (one to one, small group, large group, teacher to student, student to student, and individual;
-The language learning strategies students will need as they become independent learners.
Students serviced by the EL Program will be provided language lessons focusing on the communication skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and understanding incorporating a variety of techniques used in language and basic skills instruction. Research-based materials will be used to provide meaningful learning experiences for the student. The integration of literature and technology will also be used.
Eligibility for participation in the EL Program is determined when students register at the school. On arrival at the school, the office clerk assists with the completion of the SIS-10 form. If items 19a, 19b, or 20 indicate a language other that English, the clerk notifies the EL Program coordinator. Potential EL students are assessed according to program guidelines with the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) for English Language Learners Placement Test (W-APT). (The Kindergarten level is called the KW-APT.) and the Native Language Proficiency (NLP) Test. The NLP is administered to students who fall into the Non-English Proficient (NEP) category. (Previously, the Pre Language Assessment Scales (LAS) and the LAS-Oral/Read/Write were used as placement tests. The state transitioned into a new assessment, the LAS-Links Test, that replaced these versions of the LAS. All EL Program students were administered the new assessment in April 2006 to establish baseline data.) In February 2010, the state replaced the LAS Links Placement Test with the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) for English Language Learners Placement Test (W-APT). (The Kindergarten level is called the KW-APT.) Results of those tests determine the students language proficiency categories and types of service required. Students who do not initially meet mainstream requirements are assigned one of the following EL categories:
- Non-English Proficient (NEP
- Limited English Proficient (LEP)
- Functionally English Proficient (FEP)
If the student qualifies for EL based on the test results, appropriate supplementary services are determined according to the students EL category. Services are determined based on the guidelines in the State of Hawaii's EL Program Manual, formerly called the Identification, Assessment, and Programming System (IAPS) manual.
All identified EL Program students are tested once during the annual assessment window to measure progress made in the language domains of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension/understanding. The state-identified English language proficiency test, the WIDA ACCESS Test, is used for annual assessment.
Upon reassessment, students who receive a test score indicating a high level of English language proficiency may be mainstreamed from receiving direct program services and put on monitoring status to ensure that they are making satisfactory progress in their regular classes.
Queen Kaahumanu School's EL Program has a parent involvement component, "Beyond Open House". It is the program's belief that the school and the home must work together to support the child if the goal of positive student achievement is to be realized. The program provides parents a variety of opportunities to participate in informational meetings, hands on workshops, and other activities to gain knowledge and skills as they strive toward this goal.
Queen Kaahumanu School's EL Program believes that professional development of both ELL and regular school staff members is important. A variety of professional development activities including the EL Learning Team, EL PDERI courses, and EL online discussion group, are/were available to staff members.
NEW STUDENT SUPPORT CENTER (NSSC):
RATIONALE: There is a growing influx of students who are immigrants and/or limited English proficient that are ill equipped for school. These students come from very different (some with less formal) school environments, which make it hard for them to adjust. Many of them are not prepared for inclusion in the regular classroom upon enrollment due to their lack of language, academic, cultural, and social skills.
CONCERN: Federal law requires access to a free and appropriate public education for all students regardless of their language, academic, and cultural status. When these students are placed in the regular program with no transitional support, a question of educational equity may arise.
PROPOSAL: Set up a “new student support center” (based on the concept of a “newcomer center”) aimed at easing the transition of immigrant students/English language learners into the public school system.