It is Union's mission to provide English Learners (ELs) and Immigrant students a high quality program, designed to assist students in learning English and to meet challenging state academic content and student academic standards. English Learners is a Title III program.
All English Learners will participate in a quality instructional program that supports academic and social development. Emphasis will be placed on providing students with the greatest possible access to core curriculum and afford students access to appropriate English language instruction that will ensure progress from limited English proficiency to fluent English proficiency.
At the elementary level, Union utilizes the research-based Structured English Immersion model to meet the instructional needs of ELL students. In this model, the regular classroom teacher provides instructional strategies and differentiation to meet the language and literacy needs of the student. Instructional specialists, ELL leads and/or instructional paraprofessionals provide linguistic and academic support to LEP students in the general education classroom by using an inclusion model. Students may leave the mainstream classroom or receive English language development instruction during intervention periods for up to an hour per day. Such pullout sessions provide intensive language acquisition instruction and are delivered in a setting with a low student/teacher ratio by an instructional specialist, ELL lead or classroom teacher. The goal of the immersion process is to assimilate the student into the instructional environment such that the student progresses in both language acquisition and mastery of core curriculum. All students are considered for intervention in core curriculum. ELL students are considered for intervention in language development and core curriculum.
At the secondary level, Union utilizes the research-based Sheltered English Instruction model to meet the instructional needs of ELL students. In this model, students are placed in the sheltered instructional setting according to their demonstrated language proficiency level. Students may be placed in a self-contained newcomer class, a sheltered core class with an academic language acquisition (ALA) elective or mainstream classes with an ALA elective.
Students remain in an ALA class until they have demonstrated fluency on the ACCESS test. There are a few exceptions made for students that are receiving additional literacy support by another course due to special circumstances like an IEP. Students who have demonstrated fluency on the ACCESS test are monitored as they attend mainstream classes. In cases where students are not succeeding, they may be placed in an ALA class or another class to provide additional support.