ELs who are at proficiency levels 1-3 take most of their core classes in the Bridge Academy (with some exceptions such as Algebra 2 or Chemistry, which do not have ELL sections). Students who are levels 3-5 generally are in SEI (regular) content classes throughout their day. And, of course, all CHS students take the same elective classes. There are roughly 500 students at CHS who are classified as English learners. The success of our school depends on the growth and development of all of our students, and towards that end, here is some information about how to identify the ELs you work with in classrooms and other spaces.
- In Aspen, when you use the “default fields,” you will notice the field “CPSPrgm.” Most of the students are listed as RG which means “regular.” English learners will have the program EL. This indicates that the students are still working toward English language proficiency (or a composite score of at least a 5 on the ACCESS test). Please note that some of these students have been in the US for many years, but they started their educational careers in Chelsea as English learners and require continued language development support in order to attain proficiency. All students with a program of EL will participate in ACCESS testing in the winter.
- The number in the “ESL” column indicates the student’s overall English language proficiency, anywhere from 1 to 5, and gives you a relative idea about the student’s language abilities and needs. So a student who is EL -1 is probably a newcomer (1 signifies “entering”) and an EL- 5 is almost at grade-level in terms of language proficiency (5 = “bridging”). There is not a specific cut-off point for students to move into regular classes; this decision is based on a combination of assessment data and teacher recommendation and may differ from one content area to another.
- The ESL level (1 to 5) generally aligns to the students’ most recent ACCESS test score. However, in order to have more complete information about an individual student’s proficiency, it is useful to look at the four sub-scores (in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening), which are available in the Assessments tab in Aspen. You may find that a student is at 5 or higher in speaking or writing but is lower in reading or listening. This information helps you know what specific support might be most needed. The attached Can-Do Name Charts from WIDA would be one way to organize this information for you own students.
- A final category of students to mention is FLEP (“former limited English proficient”). Their program is RG, with “ESL” labeled F1 or F2. These students are still developing their English, but their test scores and other factors have shown that they are ready to exit the ELL program with continued support from regular education teachers. Bridge will monitor these students, but we do not provide explicit support.
- You can learn a bit more information about when students came to the United States, from where, and what their educational background is by looking at the “Demographics” and the “Activities” tabs on the “Details” page in Aspen. If the students were in the high school last year, your colleagues in the Bridge Academy also can provide rich information about students’ strengths and needs.
- On a related note, please know that the Bridge Office (guidance counselor, Marcella Moreno and social worker, Anita Mercado) only work with a fraction of ELL students, mainly students who are levels 1-3. It is easy to identify a student’s guidance counselor in Aspen ; if students are on Marcella’s caseload, they are also on Anita’s. For other students, you should use the grade level or alphabetical systems provided by the lead guidance and social workers.
Please feel free to reach out to the Bridge Academy with questions or concerns about your English learners (both those in the Bridge Academy and those in the regular program) or to learn more about the program itself.