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MONITORING FORMER ELL STUDENTS

Dear ESL/Bilingual Colleagues,

After searching for answers for the monitoring of former students, I came up with some notes I would like to share in this discussion group. I have put together a template that I think a monitoring sheet should contain. It is important in my opinion that all pages be kept together throughout the 2 years of monitoring. Feel free to adapt/add/delete to your needs. If you have a “Eureka” moment and come up with the perfect monitoring sheet, please let me know, too. (A copy of the sheet is linked below for you to download.)

Once LEP students have “exited” the program, there is the requirement for monitoring which comes from Sec. 3121(a) which states that "eligible entities" (i.e., those districts receiving Title IIIA funds) shall provide ‘‘(4) a description of the progress made by children in meeting challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards for each of the 2 years after such children are no longer receiving services under this part. http://www.wrightslaw.com/nclb/law/nclb.107-110.pdf 

As most of us see it, this description is made in the form of a Monitoring sheet where the classroom teacher records information about the development of the students.

As I understand it, it is for the local administration (schools), to determine the specifics of monitoring to make sure intervention is put in place if necessary. The information the State uses is basically the “numbers” of former students being monitored, sent in by the Bilingual/ESL Department.

ESL teachers I talked to, feel and answer to the call of providing intervention support to our monitored exited students in need. They are very aware of the “adaptation period” and continue meeting exited students through informal visits, on their own or at the request of the classroom teacher, to reassure and support students not only during the transition period but in any matter they might need help.

From the feedback I received, some ESL teachers hand out the monitoring sheets and ask classroom teachers to fill them out. If they notice a decline in performance, ESL teachers meet with the classroom teacher to see if they can assist them in scaffolding lessons; talk to the student and ask him/her to self-assess to see if he/she can tap into meta-cognitive strategies (CALLA Handbook) etc...; and contact parents to see how they can work together to turn things around. Students are rarely re-admitted into the ESL/Bilingual program. They need the content and the interaction with EO peers, but ESL teachers offers stepping stones, in a push-in/pull out situation.

I don’t have information to verify if these steps are in the ESL teacher’s tasks description or not, but I assume the ESL teacher has gotten the authority and time allotted to handle the situation.

Other ESL teachers hand the classroom teachers the monitoring sheets and then back to the school principal who sends it on to the ESL/Bilingual department and then on to the State. It is up to the school administration to review and make sure the classroom teacher implements intervention they see fit. As the student has been “exited”, the ESL teacher is not involved in the process except for the delivery and collection of the monitoring sheets received from the Bilingual/ESL Department!

The fact that ESL teachers are not involved may seem objectionable, but according to the State explanation, “...Former LEP students are, by definition, students who, as measured against State English language proficiency standards and assessments, have attained English language proficiency. Counting students who are no longer LEP for the purposes of determining Title III funding would be contrary to the targeted purposes of the Title III program...”

3122(a)(3)(A)(ii) of the ESEA that State definitions of English language proficiency for the purposes of setting targets for AMAO 2—increasing the number or percentage of LEP students attaining English language proficiency— be consistent with and reflect the same criteria States use to determine that students from the LEP subgroup no longer need services under Title III and are prepared to exit the LEP subgroup for Title I accountability purposes…(ii) If a State, in determining AYP for the subgroup of limited English proficient students, includes the scores of the students described in paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section, the State must include the scores of all such students, but is not required to—...C) Provide English language services to those students. http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a060913c.html 

For those situations in which the ESL teacher is not involved in interpreting monitoring sheets and providing intervention, at the beginning of the year, it is my opinion that the classroom teacher should be provided with a package of ESL strategies and informed that it is not the ESL teacher’s task to provide intervention for the newly exited students. This works well in cases where there is need for the teacher to use strategies to help the student be successful. The ESL teacher doesn’t have to point out then, what needs to be done.

And yet again, several ESL teachers say they know the law but neither they or anyone else in school have been given monitoring forms to record progress/failure of “former ELL”, and they are confused as to their responsibility in this subject.

I hope these little bits of information I gathered clarify to you how you can help make the monitoring of former students a tool that will really continue to help our ELL students. It is important to know for sure where ESL teachers have to stand amidst different interpretations.

Monitoring_Former_ELLs_template.doc

Volga Press

6/2/08

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