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English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language

Contact: Jenny Blust
[email protected]

English Language Learners (ELLs)
The community of English Language Learners (ELLs) at Northwest Local Schools represents over thirty countries and nearly two dozen languages. The goal of our ESL program is to support students as they attain a level of English language proficiency that will allow them to complete grade level work, to meet graduation requirements and to be successful in other facets of society. Support is provided through direct pull-out services, classroom support and progress monitoring. 

Who qualifies for English Language Development service?
Students who do not demonstrate the necessary language skills as measured by district approved Language Proficiency Assessments and “Any individual who:
  • Is between the ages of 3 and 21;
  • Is enrolled in an elementary or secondary school;
  • Has a language other than English as the native/home language, whether born in the United States or another country; and has such difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding English that the student may be unable to perform well enough in class or on state tests to meet state expected standards for achievement” (Ohio Department of Education).

How are Students Identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP)?
In accordance with No Child Left Behind, any student enrolled in Northwest Local Schools must fill out a Home Language survey as part of the enrollment process. If another language other than English is indicated on the survey, we are required by law to assess the student's English language proficiency.

A district and state approved language assessment is used by highly-qualified personnel to then identify a student’s level of English language proficiency within 14 days of enrollment. The student’s proficiency level determines if he or she qualifies for service.

Parent Involvement
We encourage parents to participate in activities throughout the school year. Some of our events include:

  • Open House
  • Conferences
  • Special events in various buildings (i.e. Math Bash, Fitness Night, PRE University)

For questions about ESL program services, please contact Susan Willoughby-Crawford at 513.923.1000 ext. 3942 or [email protected].

Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA)
One way that the State monitors the acquisition of English is through use of Ohio's English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA). The OELPA measures student progress in the areas of: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. This interactive, computer-based assessment is administered annually in the spring of each year to all students identified as LEP. Students in grades K and 1 take a portion of the OELPA on the computer and a portion using paper and pencil. 

Students who take the OELPA receive one of three overall performance levels: Proficient, Emerging and Progressing. Ohio's current administration and scoring guidelines for the OELPA require that the English Language Learner exit the ESL program when an overall level of Proficient has been attained.

The performance levels are determined as follows:

  • “Proficient” students are those scoring any combination of 4’s and 5’s across all four domains; exit the ESL program
  • “Emerging” students are those scoring any combination of 1’s and 2’s across all four domains; remain in the ESL program
  • “Progressing” students are those scoring any combination across the four domains that does not fall into Proficient or Emerging; remain in the ESL program

An overall score of Proficient on the OELPA means that the student obtained scores of 4 and/or 5 on each of the four parts of the assessment (reading, speaking, writing and listening). 

Source: Ohio Department of Education