By law, as stated in M.G.L. 71A Section 3, the Belchertown Public School district is required to assess all students new to our district who are not proficient in English. A student who does not speak English or whose native language is not English and who is currently not able to perform classroom work in English is also called an English Language Learner (ELL).
Upon enrollment of each student in the district, their family is required to complete the Home Language Survey to inform the district of the language(s) spoken in the student’s home. If the survey indicates a language other than English is spoken by the student and/or family, the district is required to assess the student’s English proficiency. If this is deemed necessary, the ELL teacher will utilize the Language Assessment System Links (LAS Links) to measure the student’s language knowledge and skills important to achieving success in content learning. The results of this assessment provide the district with information about the student’s level of proficiency using the English language. The results from this assessment will be used to determine if the student requires ELL services with the ELL teacher.
Once a student is identified as an ELL, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires each school district to annually measure the student’s proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English, as well as the progress he/she is making in learning English.Starting in January 2013, Massachusetts replaced the MEPA test previously used with the Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) for ELLs test. ACCESS for ELLs is an assessment that will be administered once annually during January and February of each school year. ACCESS for ELLs tests are based on the WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment) English Language Development standards. The information from this testing will be made available to families as soon as the district receives the results.
The Belchertown Public School district strives to make all pertinent information for families of ELL students available in their home language whenever possible. When requested or listed on Home Language Surveys, interpreters are made available for parents to actively participate in meetings and other school related events as needed. Any questions or concerns regarding ELL or Translation services should be forwarded to Kristi A. Guzzo, Director of Student Support Services. Ms. Guzzo can be reached at (413) 323-0425 x112 or email@example.com.
For more information about English Language Education and Translation Services, please click the links below.