English Language Supports
English Language Supports (ELS) is a program designed to provide additional academic and linguistic support for students who are developing proficiency in English.
ELS specialists (teachers) co-teach with content teachers in math, science, social studies and other subjects to provide students with access to grade-level content along with English language development. ELS specialists are proficient in the English language and specifically trained to teach students who are learning English.
Commonly asked questions
How is a student identified as an English Learner?
Students who are influenced by another language are given the state English language proficiency placement screener to determine their level of English proficiency.
In addition to the test, other measures used to determine if a student would benefit from additional support in learning English include classroom observations, tests and schoolwork.
How does ELS support the needs of an English Learner?
While each student’s level of support will be based on their individual needs, the ELS program provides explicit language instruction and support alongside grade level content. English learners acquire English through participation in age-appropriate instruction that is aligned with State standards. The primary goal of teaching language through content is to make grade-level standards and curriculum accessible to English learners at all levels of English proficiency and to provide explicit language development based upon the language demands of the content.
What is co-teaching?
Co-teaching is two or more people sharing the responsibility for teaching all of the students assigned to a classroom. It involves the distribution of responsibility among people for planning, differentiating instruction, and monitoring progress for a classroom of students.
(Villa, R., Thousand, J. A. & Nevin, A. I., 2013)
Can English Learners participate in other programs?
ELs will be afforded access to any and all services available to their peers who are native English speakers.
How is an English Learner exited from ELS?
When a student demonstrates proficiency on the State language assessment as well as in grade level content, the student will be considered English proficient. The student’s progress in English and the content areas will be monitored for two years to ensure that the student is maintaining English proficiency. Following this monitoring period, the student is then formally exited from ELS. Should the student need support with English skills at any time during the monitoring or exited time, the student can again receive ELS.
What rights do parents have?
Parents have the right to decline participation in an ELS program. Should parents wish to refuse ELS, a refusal process is followed. Refusals can be renewed each school year. A parent may also choose, at any point, to cancel the refusal status and elect to receive ELS.
While on a refusal status, a student will still be considered an English learner and progress will be monitored. As a requirement of state and federal law, Cherry Creek Schools is required to assess all English learners, including students on refusals using the annual state English language proficiency assessment at their school.