English Language Development (ELD)

What is ELD?

English Language Development (formerly known as ESL) is a core curriculum area that provides English language instruction in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as the development of English proficiency skills for the language necessary to communicate information, ideas and concepts for content areas. Currently, there are more than 700 students in the NPSD ELD Program who speak around 40 languages.


Who is an EL?

An EL, or English Learner, is a student who

  • Was not born in the US, whose native language is other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant.
  • Was born in the US and comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant.
  • Is migratory with a native language other than English and comes from an environment where English is not the dominant language.


What are program goals?

  • To increase English language proficiency skills so that students meet state and district academic standards
  • To increase English language skills so that ELs can communicate for social and instructional purposes within the school setting
  • To increase English language skills so that ELs can communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in content areas


What is the design of the ELD Program?

Elementary, Grades K-6

  • ELD/Language Arts
  • ELD teachers and assistants work with the students
  • Push-in: instruction is done by going into the homeroom
  • Pull-out: instruction is done by pulling students out of classroom and into the ELD room

Secondary, Grades 7-12 (Middle and High Schools)

  • ELD English classes
  • ELD Reading classes
  • Classroom content delivered by teachers
  • Teaching assistants provide support and help


How do students enter the program?

  • Home Language Survey given to each student at registration indicates languages spoken at home
  • W-APT, WIDA Screener and other criteria, such as examination of records and/or parent/student interviews determine the ELD level and services needed
  • Previous school records are reviewed for appropriate placement
  • ELs are monitored for two years after they exit the program (exit criteria is provided from PDE)
  • Parents/guardians are able to opt their child out of ELD programming


How are students assessed in the program?

  • Teacher observations and assessments
  • Report Cards
  • State and district assessments


What assessments do ELs take?

  • W-APT - test given upon entry by NPSD to prospective ELs to assess proficiency level (Kindergarten)
  • WIDA Screener - test given upoin entry by NPSD to prospective ELs to assess proficiency level (Grades 1-12)
  • ACCESS - test given every winter by the state to assess proficiency level
  • PSSA - test given in grades 3 through 8 by the state to assess reading, writing and math skills
  • Keystone Exams - tests given to high school students by the state to assess English, biology and algebra skills
  • Reading Theme Tests - test given to all elementary students in reading, writing and language arts
  • Math Unit Tests - tests given to all elementary students in math
  • Final Exams - tests given to all secondary students at the end of each course


What parent support is available?

  • Each building has access to Transperfect for remote interpreting
  • Parents may call the school with concerns and ask for teachers to call back using Transperfect


What extracurricular support is available for the students?

  • Title III: ELD Summer Program & Parent & Community Night
  • Multilingual Library at Lansdale Public Library
  • Cultural Clubs: many cultural groups organize clubs at the high school


What is the school calendar?

  • NPSD calendars are available to all families
  • The school year is divided into four marking (grading) periods in the secondary schools. The school year is divided into three marking (grading) periods in the elementary schools
  • Students receive report cards after each marking period (4 times a year at the secondary level and 3 times a year at the elementary level)
  • End of Year dates are given every year after spring break


What is the attendance policy?

  • Daily attendance is very important
  • If a student is absent because of illness, send a written excuse when he returns to school
  • If you know of an absence, please call the school office


Are there school closings?

  • Schools may close due to bad weather
  • To find out: Check the North Penn School District Website or check NPTV


How can you help your child?

  • Provide a quiet place to study or read
  • Read with your child in English or in your first language
  • Encourage your child to read and write
  • Visit the library
  • Communicate with teachers
  • Use Home Access Center (HAC) for secondary students


What is the Home Access Center (HAC)?

  • Go to www.npenn.org
  • Log-on info is sent home
  • Registration information and daily attendance are available
  • For middle school and high school students, grades and schedules are also available


Who can I contact for additional information?

  • Rachel Earley, Curriculum Supervisor, North Penn School District Educational Services Center
  • Andrea Bowers, Elementary Department Chair, Hatfield Elementary
  • Lauren Michener, Secondary Department Chair, North Penn High School


What other links could be helpful?