When children first register for school, one of the questions on the form is whether a language other than English is spoken in the home. If the answer is "yes," then the child is evaluated when they first come to school and, if necessary, put in the ESL program. From kindergarten through 12th grade, there are about 100 students in Marshall County receiving ESL instruction.
The goal is to get them to pass the federally mandated English Language Development Assessment test in the spring of the year. The test measures reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities. Once the child has passed they are released from the ESL program, but they are monitored for two more years in case language difficulties cause them to fall behind in their class work.
See Friday's Tribune for the complete story.