The purpose of the English Learner (EL) Program is to identify students who qualify for EL services and to provide specialized EL instruction that builds student’s academic and social English language skills to a proficiency level comparable to native English speakers. Students exit the EL program when they can show proficiency in English language to be successful in academic, work and social circles of life. The Fargo EL Team has 35 members that serve students in all of Fargo Public Schools’ 23 school sites. The FPS EL Program historically serves approximately 900-1,000 EL students each year.
EL identification typically happens through the Home Language Survey (part of annual registration for every student), parent inquiry or academic struggles that might be because of the influence of another language upon a student’s English language acquisition. The potential EL student completes a standardized WIDA English screening/diagnostic test to determine eligibility. EL specialized instruction is delivered by highly qualified EL teachers and it is targeted at building students’ English proficiency (Listening + Speaking + Reading + Writing), academic content knowledge, acculturation skills and choice (college-career-life) readiness. Daily minutes of EL services varies depending upon the student's needs (English Language Proficiency).
EL Exit. The final goal for the EL program is to successfully build students' skills to exit EL. Annually, all EL students take a standardized WIDA ACCESS test to determine English Language proficiency. Students are exited from the EL program when they score 5.0 on the ACCESS test. Exited students continue to be progress monitored for two years to ensure they are successful in the mainstream classes.
The Fargo Public Schools provides a continuum of English language services beginning from infancy in Even Start and continuing throughout adulthood. The Adult Learning Center offers both day and evening classes that include driver’s literacy, citizenship, language, technology and cultural and social events. The Adult Learning Center EL staff collaborate with the K-12 EL staff to promote family literacy and to help develop and support strong EL families. Click here for more information on this adult education program.