English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)


    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires schools to identify language minority students by level of English language proficiency. Therefore, upon enrollment into a school in Georgia, each student’s parent or guardian completes a Home Language Survey to determine whether a language other than English is used in the home or is the student’s native language or first language. All students whose native language, first language or language of the home includes a language other than English are assessed for English language proficiency using the state-adopted English proficiency screening measure, the WIDA Screener.

    It is the responsibility of local schools to ensure that English Learners succeed both socially and academically, understand American culture and how to function successfully within it, and have access to all available postsecondary options. Additionally, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires schools to provide language assistance services to identified English Learners (ELs). Initial eligibility for language assistance services (ESOL) is determined by the student's score on the WIDA Screener Online for grades K-12.

    All ELs are also assessed annually on the state-adopted English proficiency measure, the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0, to determine English language proficiency. A student’s score on the ACCESS will help determine whether the student should continue in ESOL or may be ready to exit the program.

    The WIDA English Language Development Standards are used to help determine children's levels of English proficiency and provide educators with a connection between language development and academic content area learning. The WIDA ELD Standards are:

    1. Language for Social and Instructional Purposes
    2. Language for Language Arts
    3. Language for Mathematics
    4. Language for Science
    5. Language for Social Studies

    Each school in Oconee County Schools offers ESOL services. There are currently about 255 students participating in ESOL. Approximately 33 languages in addition to English are spoken by Oconee County Schools students.

    Questions regarding the ESOL program in Oconee County Schools should be directed to Beth Parks at bparks@oconeeschools.org or by calling 706.769.5130 , ext. 1336.