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Friday, June 6, 2008

Interview Questions

1. What is your title? Explain your role for the district in regards to your position.

My title is Bilingual/ESL Coordinator. I also am the contact for our district for Migrant and Immigrant students. We have no Migrant students this year. Although we have 60 Immigrant Students (born outside US and in a US school three years or less) our district has chosen not to receive Title III Part B funds for Immigrant Students. The following questions will be addressed regarding my main responsibility which is our Bilingual/ESL program.

Duties involve planning and implementing our instructional services for all Limited English Proficient (LEP) students in PK through grade 12. We added a secondary ESL coordinator this year, so although still involved with our secondary program, my main emphasis is grades PK through 5, the grades under an Exception to Bilingual Education due to the shortage of bilingual teachers. I facilitate training for our Language Proficiency Assessment Committees (LPAC) at each of our five campuses, am a state trained Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) trainer and help our ESL Specialists with the identification, placement, PEIMS data collection, assessment decisions and review of our students' progress in both language acquisition and academic growth. Additionally, I am involved with family literacy programs, staffing decisions, local and federal (Title III) budget planning and the ever growing demands of NCLB documentation and Performance Based Monitoring (PBM).

2. Define the special program.

The main intent of BE/ESL education is to produce high quality student programs that will help our Limited English Proficient (LEP) students to achieve effective communication in diverse settings.

For more information see: KISD BE/ESL Program Overview:

3. Which TEC, TAC, Senate Bills, Federal statutes, and policies or regulations regulate the program?

To view a brief history of how federal policies have impacted language minority students:

Chapter 29/Subchapter 89 TEC outlines the state guidelines for bilingual ESL. It was updated this year (in part) to include a process for Special Education students to be able to exit the program.

The laws and rules concerning bilingual education programs in Chapter 29 of the Texas Education Code are available at: and clicking on “TEC 29.051 – 29.064.”

Rules on bilingual education programs from Subchapter 89 of the Texas Administrative Code can be accessed from the same location as detailed above by clicking on: “Commissioner’s Rule.” It is also available in Spanish.

(Carie B. has a hard copy of this document which is considered "The Bible" for our program. We are fortunate to have it in a readable understandable format compiled by Jean Carrell, Region 8 Bilingual Specialist.)

4. What is the process for student identification and eligibility criteria?

Upon original entry in Kilgore ISD or in another Texas district, a required Home Language Survey (HLS) is completed and becomes part of his/her permanent record file. If any other language than English is indicated by the HLS, testing to determine English Proficiency. Students in PK-1 must be administered an oral language proficiency test (OLPT) in English (also in Spanish for baseline and for grades with a bilingual program in place).

Students in grades 2-12 must be administered an OLPT and the reading/language arts portion of a state approved norm referenced test (NRT) unless the student’s English ability is so limited that administration of the NRT is not valid. Placement recommendation should take place within 20 days of enrollment.

View LEP Decision Chart:

View LEP Exit Criteria:

5. What is the program plan for the district?

Under our Exception to Bilingual Education Kilgore's current action plan is to begin implementation of a dual language program. However, until we have a stronger base of bilingual educators our plan will be modified to sustain an early-exit transitional bilingual program in grades PK - 5.

View Action Plan:

Next year Texas districts will be required to identify specific LEP programs with definitions to be released by PEIMS this summer. The following link defines several program types and other language specific to Dual Language Immersion Programs.

Currently content-based ESL services are provided for Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 in KISD as detailed below:

LEP students may also qualify for other special programs for which they are eligible provided by the district with either state or federal funds and may not be denied these services solely because of their LEP status.

The bilingual education and English as a Second language programs are developmental in nature and include listening, speaking, reading and writing activities in English. Our Head Start program has a highly qualified bilingual educational aide to assist EC certified teachers who offer strong support at the earliest level with the goal of English literacy. We also have three self-contained PK ESL classrooms with bilingual aides to offer strong first language support to our English language Learners. One of our PK classroom teachers is pursuing bilingual certification and completed a three-week intensive Spanish immersion course at Academia Tica Coronado school in Costa Rica, Summer 2007. She also passed the bilingual generalist EC-4 this year. Kilgore Heights also has a master teacher serving as our ESL Specialist for Head Start, PK and K with the most effective research based methods of inclusion and intensive English for Second Language Learners at the various levels of language acquisition.
Two highly qualified ESL self contained classrooms with bilingual paraprofessionals serve our English language Learners in kindergarten.

In 2007-08 we added a bilingual teacher in 1st grade who will team with another self contained ESL class. Also, in K-5 an intensive three-tiered approach for reading skills and a language rich program of leveled small group sessions meet daily by inclusion and small group intervention for ESL language acquisition and TEKS instruction by 5 certified ESL Specialists. Next year, in grades 1-5 instead of self-contained ESL classrooms, LEP students will be strategically placed in classrooms with ESL support in language arts with inclusion and small group instruction by grade level ESL Specialists as needed for level one/newcomer students .

Twenty-five K-5 classroom teachers are ESL certified for a total of 41 ESL certified teachers in KISD. Our ESL certified teacher in Grades 6-8 provides daily classroom instruction in a language listening lab setting which includes READ 180, Rosetta Stone, and state adopted (High Point) materials and individualized TEKS supported activities. The district has a full time coordinator for Bilingual/ESL who implements plans for staff training and instructional support and a half-day secondary coordinator who teaches four classes in the READ 180/language lab at KHS, mentors the MLMS ESL instruction and coaches the sheltered content classes at KIS, MLMS and KHS.

View Instructional Strategies for English Language Learners:

6. What are the sources of funding (be specific)?

Most KISD ESL staff salaries are paid with local funds.

Local funds are provided in part by the state ADA for students served in ESL programs for instructional supplies, staff development and assessment materials. TEA requires that 20% of this ESL budget be spent for professional development.

Title III Part A funds are also specifically targeted for our program under the "English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act" of NCLB of 2001.

7. How are evaluations conducted for the program?

TEC §89.1265. Evaluation.
(a) All districts required to conduct a bilingual education or English as a second language program shall conduct periodic assessment and continuous diagnosis in the languages of instruction to determine program impact and student outcomes in all subject areas.
(b) Annual reports of educational performance shall reflect the academic progress in either language of the limited English proficient students, the extent to which they are becoming proficient in English, the number of students who have been exited from the bilingual education and English as a second language programs, and the number of teachers and aides trained and the frequency, scope, and results of the training. These reports shall be retained at the district level to be made available to monitoring teams according to §89.1260 of this title (relating to Monitoring of Programs and Enforcing Law and Commissioner's Rules).
(c) Districts shall report to parents the progress of their child as a result of participation in the program offered to limited English proficient students in English and the home language at least annually.
(d) Each school year, the principal of each school campus, with the assistance of the campus level committee, shall develop, review, and revise the campus improvement plan described in the Texas Education Code, §11.253, for the purpose of improving student performance for limited English proficient students.

Additionally NCLB requires LEP student progress letters to parents with TELPAS results. TELPAS results including Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) results are also reported to the school board annually. Due to new standards for TELPAS Reading these reports will be available in September, 2008.

More information on Program Monitoring and Interventions:

8. What are the implications for principals in improving student performance and/or school safety with this program?

Campus leaders support and involvement in every phase of planning, staffing, implementing and evaluating the Bilingual ESL Program is most vital to the success of our students. Family literacy and parent involvement efforts are also greatly influenced by principals and other campus leaders as well as a positive campus climate and accessibility for Spanish speaking parents. As long as NCLB and the present system for school accountability is in place, the success of our LEP population is extremely important to local districts because not only do our students count toward LEP, Hispanic and At-Risk subgroups, but also they are often Economically Disadvantaged. At the secondary level, administrators need to address the additional challenges of high drop-out rates, teen pregnancy and college prep and/or strong vocational training for our LEP student population.

Principals can help by addressing the needs of the LEP population on their campuses by making pertinent staffing decisions. Recruiting and retaining highly qualified bilingual staff is essential to the overall success of the program. Additionally, promoting and facilitating training for ESL and content teaching staff with research based methods in the field of language acquisition (i.e. sheltered instruction) will aid in improving student performance. Knowing and understanding the affective, linguistic and cognitve needs of English language learners and the process of language acquisition is the first step in being able to address the needs of a campus and district for the ultimate success of a Bilingual or English as a Second Language Program.,13,Understanding Language Proficiency in Social and Academic Settings (scroll through last nine slides)

English Language Proficiency Standards:

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