Instructional Program for Second Language Learners
in Hanover County
 

Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS) has experienced a significant increase in the number of students classified as English Language Learners (ELLs); these students require services in English as a Second Language (ESL).  Our current ESL program is aligned with the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards adopted by Virginia in 2007.  The overall goal for the education of the ESL program is to provide students with intensive instruction, thereby developing English proficiency as quickly as possible to understand, read, and write English so that they can achieve academically and communicate effectively in social settings. 

As of October 1, 2015, HCPS serves 290 ESL students, who meet the federal criteria for migrants, refugees, and immigrants.  These students represent approximately thirty different native languages and thirty-one countries.  The HCPS ESL Team, which includes the Title III Coordinator, the ESL teacher assigned to each school, classroom and SPED teachers, Reading Specialists, school administrators, and District ESL teachers all collaborate to provide optimum instruction for each English Language Learner (ELL). As necessary, under the guidance of the ESL and classroom teachers, tutors are assigned to ELLs at proficiency levels 1 and 2 to supplement instruction.  To enable our students to reach high standards and gain proficiency in Reading, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, the county provides ongoing professional development opportunities to train administrators, content area and SPED teachers, and ESL teachers, to understand the unique needs of ELLs.  Specific strategies are taught to provide content teachers with effective practices for teaching ELLs, such as differentiated instruction, active engagement, scaffolding, and a modified approach to sheltered English instruction.  In addition, ESL teachers collaborate and conference with content area teachers to discern the needs of each ESL student and to help develop plans for meeting these needs.