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English Language Learners (ELL)

English as a Second Language

Pennsylvania currently has approximately 61,000 English Language Learners (ELLs) who speak over 200 different languages. Every Local Education Agency is responsible for the education of pupils whose primary language is not English and who are ELs (LEA). Section 4.26 of Title 22, Chapter 4 of the Curriculum Regulations requires the LEA to establish a program for every English learner student (EL). 

The purpose of language instruction educational programs (LIEPs) is to assist students whose native or first language is not English in acquiring English competence and academic success. Without instruction in social and academic English and proper support for understanding academic material, these students risk missing educational opportunities available to non-EL students.

Identification and Assessment

When registering a student for school, parents or guardians must complete a document called the Home Language Survey. This form requires the parent or guardian to respond to a number of questions on the primary language spoken at home. If the student's primary language is not English, the school district coordinator notifies the district ESL teacher. The district ESL teacher will interview the student's parent or guardian and, if necessary, conduct a screening process. If testing is required, the district ESL instructor will assess the student utilizing the WIDA Online Screener. Students are evaluated on their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. This exam informs the teacher of the student's English language competency level, which facilitates daily ESL lesson planning. When necessary, interpreters can be utilized to speak with students and/or parents/guardians.


Recent News

Penn Hills School District Exits Financial Recovery Status

We are thrilled to announce that the Penn Hills School District has officially exited Financial Recovery status. This monumental achievement was announced on May 23, 2024, by Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education, Dr. Khalid Mumin, at Penn Hills Middle School.

Linton Middle School's Heartfelt Mentor Appreciation

Over the past two days, Dr. Robinson and YESS Team member Miss Nia guided over 30 eighth-grade students in delivering a special gift to someone of their choosing. About a month ago, an idea was hatched to create t-shirts that allow our kids to give thanks to someone in the building who has truly been a mentor to them during their time at Linton.

Spotlight on: A Pre-Apprenticeship Opportunity

Educators and students, we're excited to share a fantastic summer opportunity that's gaining recognition across the state! Sigma Resources’ subsidiary, Simcoach Games, is partnering with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and regional schools to offer the Junior Game Developer Pre-Apprenticeship in video game development.

Free After-school Meal Program Launches in Penn Hills School District

The Penn Hills School District, in collaboration with The Nutrition Group, is excited to announce the launch of a new initiative aimed at providing free afterschool meals to school-age children within the community. This program is part of a broader effort to support the nutritional needs of children and ensure they have access to healthy meals outside of regular school hours.

PA FAFSA Submission Deadline Extended

In an important update for students and families across Pennsylvania, the Board of Directors at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has extended the submission deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to June 1, 2024.

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