The ELL Department supports English Language Learners (ELLs) from a variety of countries, representing many different languages. Our goal is to provide support for the implementation of the state-mandated Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Model to all district elementary and secondary schools. The SEI Model is designed to help students who are English Language Learners (ELL) attain English proficiency and meet the same rigorous state academic standards that all students are expected to meet. The ELL Department provides program services which meet state and federal requirements for English learner identification, assessment, instruction, and reassessment.
Overview of the ELL Program
All schools in Florence USD currently meet the needs of English language learners through Arizona’s SEI program and the use of Individual Language Learner Plan (ILLPs) in accordance with state law. Through the use of ILLPs, English language learners have their unique language needs met with a combination of instruction from the ELL teacher and the teachers in the mainstream classroom. These teachers create ILLP plans for students and monitor their progress toward individual language goals. In this model, ELL students learn the grade level content while also developing their English language skills. Additional ELL support is provided as needed.
Overview of the SEI Program
Arizona state law, under House Bill 2064, states that there are basic components which must be present in all approaches of the models. Those components are the following:
- All ELL students must receive a minimum of four (4) hours of English Language Development (ELD) every day.
- The four hours must include one hour of instruction for each: Oral Language and Conversation, Grammar, Writing, and Reading.
- During the ELL students’ instruction, the students must be grouped by their English Language Proficiency Level (Pre-Emergent, Emergent, Basic or Intermediate).
- In schools with less than 20 ELL students in a 3-grade level band, students are placed on an Individual Language Learner Plan (ILLP) and during their four hours of English language instruction may be mixed with non-ELL students.
- ELL students must be taught by highly qualified teachers.
- If you would like more information about the SEI model, you should visit the Arizona Department of Education’s website.
Determination of Proficiency
The student's English proficiency is determined by administering a test called the Arizona English Language Learner Assessment (AZELLA). It is usually given when the student first enrolls in school. Students are retested annually to measure progress in English. If the results of this test show that a student is at a limited English proficiency level, the student qualifies for placement in English Language Development classes. A student must obtain a score of "proficient" to exit the ELD classes.
It is important for you to understand how this program will help your child become proficient in English. It is also important for you to know that parents have the right to decline these services. If you have questions or concerns, please call your school or this department.