Family & Community Engagement Staff
Cobb County School District (CCSD) ESOL Program mission is to help ensure the English language development and academic success of English Learners (ELs).
The ESOL Program aims to work with all teachers at all grade levels and administrators of ELs to provide high-quality instructional programs designed to develop proficiency in English, while meeting challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards.
All ELs will succeed and will have equal access to opportunities to achieve academic excellence.
ESOL Program Goals
How are students identified as English Learners (ELs)?
When enrolling a student in CCSD schools, parents or enrolling adults answer three “Home Language Survey” questions about the languages the family uses. If parents tell us that there is a home language besides English, CCSD will take steps to determine whether or not the student needs ESOL support.
For students in grades K-5, one of the ESOL teachers at the local school will screen them to find their proficiency in English. For Kindergarten and students entering First Grade, the screening focuses on Speaking and Listening in English. For all other grades, the screening includes Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing in English.
When the screening shows that students are not proficient in English, the students are eligible for ESOL services.
Students who are enrolling in grades 6-12 go to the CCSD International Welcome Center (IWC) for screening instead of being screened at the local school. IWC staff provide additional assessments and talk with the family. They also recommend an initial course schedule for each student that will help them get off to a great start!
What standards does CCSD use to guide ESOL instruction?
Georgia is one of 40 states that are members of the WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design of Assessment): WIDA Consortium | WIDA (wisc.edu). Cobb teachers use the 2020 WIDA English Language Development Standards along with the Georgia Standards of Excellence to plan instruction.
Using both helps our students who are learning English improve their English while also learning grade level content.
How is ESOL support provided for students in CCSD schools?
All students who are eligible for ESOL services receive language support. The level and type of support depends on the language needs and grade level of the student. There are several ways that CCSD teacher provide ESOL support.
•Collaborate with the classroom teacher to teach the class and support students learning English
•Teach students learning English in a small group to help them develop their English skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing
•Provide ESOL instruction in a scheduled ESOL class
Some of our CCSD classroom teachers are also ESOL endorsed teachers. Those teachers can provide ESOL support to any students learning English in their classes at any time!
How does CCSD support international newcomers in middle and high school who are just beginning to learn English?
For students in their first year of school in the USA. CCSD provides families with the option of enrolling in a one-year Intensive English Language (IEL) Program.
IEL students develop their proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English through specialized language instruction provided by a highly skilled and qualified ESOL teacher. They actively practice general, social, instructional, and academic language and work towards the goal of moving up one or more full proficiency levels in English, from a 1.0 to a 2.0 or higher before the end of the program.
In addition to the intensive English classes, students take other academic and elective courses with their native English-speaking peers. This provides them the opportunity to learn English through speaking and interacting with their fellow students as well as through teacher-led instruction in the IEL Program.
CCSD IEL Programs also provide social-emotional support and resources to help students adjust to American culture and the American educational environment with activities to help parents of newcomer students learn how to navigate the American school system and support long-term Student Success for their children.
How does CCSD know how well students are doing learning English?
The WIDA Consortium provides schools in all 40 member states with the ACCESS for ELLs, an annual assessment that measures English language growth for students served in the ESOL program. It measures how well students do in Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing in
English, and all schools are required to give it. Students who are just beginning to learn English are at a proficiency level 1 (PL 1.0). The top level of proficiency is 6.0. At that level, a student is considered to be just as good as a native speaker of English.
What is our goal for students learning English?
5.0 in Five! CCSD schools work to provide the best ESOL support possible, so that students learning English can gain full proficiency in English in five years. CCSD requires an Overall Score of 5.0 on the ACCESS for ELLs to consider students as proficient, so the goal is 5.0 in Five!
Younger students may be able to reach a 5.0 in less than five years, and older students may need longer. But everyone is working to help each student become fully proficient in English as quickly as possible. Making progress each year is the key!
How do students demonstrate that they are proficient in English?
When students earn an Overall Score of 5.0 on the ACCESS for ELLs, they are considered proficient and exit ESOL services. Parents are notified each year of how well their students did on the ACCESS for ELLS, and they receive a special letter when their students are ready to exit the ESOL program.
Family & Community Engagement Program
Cobb County School District (CCSD) Family and Community Engagement Program mission is to help ensure that parents of LEP and immigrant children and youth get assistance in helping their children to improve their academic achievement and become active participants in the education of their children.
To be the district leader in Georgia in providing community participation programs, family literacy services, and parent outreach and training activities to limited English proficient children and their families.
All EL parents would like their children to succeed academically; therefore, by equipping parents with the right skills and tools through training and workshops, CCSD Parent Involvement Program ensures a committed partnership among teachers, administrators, and parents to ensure EL students’ academic success.