ELD Program Overview
Students learning English as a second language are educated through programs designed to develop fluency in English while at the same time receiving instruction in the core content curriculum. The district’s program is based on sound instructional theory and is adequately supported so that English language learners learn to read, write, listen to, and speak English and perform at the same academic level as their English-proficient peers as rapidly as possible.
At the elementary level, EL students receive services by appropriately trained teachers within the general education classroom using the SDAIE (Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English) model. The district currently has 36 bilingual instructional aides serving at ten school sites with a significant enrollment of English Learners. These aides work with teachers and students to provide additional support throughout the school day. There are also nine community liaisons who provide a bilingual connection for parents of EL students, and who are invaluable sources of information and support to non-English speaking parents. The district also provides the services of a translator/interpreter who ensures all necessary notifications and printed materials are translated into Spanish for parents. She also attends and interprets for IEP meetings of students with disabilities who have non-English speaking parents as well as providing translation of the resulting IEP documentation. With the use of wireless headsets for parents, our versatile translator/interpreter also provides word-for-word translations of DELAC meetings.
The ELD program provides purposeful daily instruction in both a developmental program and as explicit preparation for content courses. Systematic ELD is designed to build a solid foundation in English language using an organized method that does not leave the development of forms or fluency to random experiences and chance encounters. Simi Valley has adopted Intensive English by Santillana as the ELD program at the elementary level. In addition to instruction in the development of English language skills, students have access to the core curriculum and receive instruction through presentation methods and techniques designed for students who are learning English.
Middle and High Schools
At the secondary level, all EL students receive services in one of three settings. For students at the lower fluency levels, two periods of ELD instruction are provided. These students receive instruction in specifically designed programs utilizing appropriate instructional practices with the goal of achieving fluency as quickly as possible. All ELD teachers hold LDS or CLAD certificates. The Language! curriculum, published by Cambium Learning Group, is used in all ELD classes at the secondary level and is specifically designed to support achievement of English fluency in oral (listening & speaking), reading, and writing domains.
For students at the higher fluency levels, a Transitional English class specifically designed for these students is provided. These classes use the same materials and follow the same course outlines as the regular English classes in our district. The uniqueness of the class is in the pace of instruction and the instructional strategies utilized by the teacher. In addition to the core curriculum, students enrolled in Transitional English receive support and instruction in the ELD standards as appropriate based on regular individual student assessment, as a part of the Language! curriculum program. At the Middle Schools the students in Transitional English class are enrolled in a supplemental period of reading development/ELD instruction and support. The Language! curriculum and assessment program is utilized in these classes.
For students that have achieved reasonable fluency, as defined by our district, students may be placed in a regular English class with a teacher who possesses the appropriate certification. Regular monitoring by the EL Counselor and/or Administrator is required to ensure student success and progress.
In addition to ELD instruction, each student may receive SDAIE instruction in the core academic areas. Staff examines each student individually to determine fluency level and past academic success to determine placement in these classes. At both the Middle School and High School level, SDAIE classes exist in Math, History/Social Studies, and Science. All teachers of these classes have CLAD, BCLAD, SB 1969, or SB 395 certificates.
The goal of our elementary and secondary programs is to achieve English fluency as quickly as possible while still providing quality instruction and learning opportunities for our English language learners.