English Language Development Program

Mission Statement

To ensure that ALL English Learners (ELs) have access to and participate in high-quality, research-based instruction that supports academic and social growth. Emphasis will be placed on English Language Development (ELD) with the goal of active progress along the scale of limited English proficiency to fluency coupled with appropriate access to core curriculum instruction.



Program Objectives

  • Provide high-quality, research-based instruction for all ELs.

  • Provide program options and instructional programs that meet the diverse academic and linguistic needs of all ELs.

  • Provide ELs with instructional and support services that meet the spirit and intent of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title III guidance, Oklahoma’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan, and Oklahoma State Department of Education requirements and guidelines.

  • Align all instructional programs and supports with research-based World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards and WIDA performance definitions.

  • Student’s languages and cultures are valuable resources to be tapped and incorporated into schooling.

  • Students’ home, school, and community experiences influence their language development.

  • Students draw on their metacognitive, metalinguistic, and meta cultural awareness to develop proficiency in additional languages.

  • Students’ academic language development in their native language facilitates their academic language development in English. Conversely, students’ academic language development in English informs their academic language development in their native language.

  • Students learn language and culture through meaningful use and interaction.

  • Students use language in functional and communicative ways that vary according to context.

  • Students develop language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing interdependently, but at different rates and in different ways.

  • Students’ development of academic language and academic content knowledge are inter-related processes.

  • Students’ development of social, instructional, and academic language, a complex and long-term process is the foundation for their success in school.

  • Students’ access to instructional tasks requiring complex thinking is enhanced when linguistic complexity and instructional support match their levels of language proficiency.

  • Level 6-Reaching

    • Language that meets all criteria through Level 5

  • Level 5-Bridging    

    • Rich descriptive discourse, complex sentences

    • Cohesive, organized ideas

    • Compound, complex grammatical constructions

    • Broad range of sentence patterns

    • Technical and abstract content-area language

    • Words and expressions with shades of meaning across content areas

  • Level 4-Expanding

    • Connected discourse with sentence variety

    • Expanded related ideas

    • Varied complex grammatical constructions

    • Content specific sentence patterns

    • Specific and  some technical content-area language

    • Words or expressions with content-specific multiple meanings

  • Level 3-Developing

    • Use of extended sentences with related ideas

    • Compound and some complex grammatical constructions

    • Sentence patterns across some content areas

    • Specific content language

    • Use of related words and expressions, some idioms across content areas

  • Level 2-Emerging

    • Multiple, related simple sentences

    • An idea with details

    • Compound grammatical constructions

    • Repetitive phrases and sentence patterns across content areas

    • General content words and expressions, some cognates

    • Social and instructional words and expressions across content areas

  • Level 1-Entering

    • Single statements and/or questions

    • An idea within words, phrases, or chunks of language

    • Simple grammatical constructions

    • Common social and instructional forms and patterns

    • General content words

    • Everyday social and instructional words and expressions

  • Develop proficiency in the important communication skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing with the goal of native fluency.

  • Develop interpersonal communication skills and academic language including linguistic complexity, language forms and conventions, and vocabulary usage.

  • Increase personal academic and social potential.

  • Increase depth of knowledge in core subject areas.

  • Maintain primary language skills with the understanding that bilingualism is an important asset to post-secondary career opportunities.

  • Maintain pride in their cultural heritage.

  1. ELs will show progress each year on the ACCESS for ELs test demonstrating annual growth until achieving fluent English proficiency (FEP) status.

  2. ELs will earn grades of ‘C’ or higher in all core classes at the same rate as all students.

  3. ELs who are monitored as being fluent English proficient (FEP) will participate and score at the same levels as all students.

  4. All ELs students will achieve fluent English proficiency within 5 years of entering school. For students currently in the system:

      • Level 1 student has 5 years to exit

      • Level 2 student has 4 years to exit

      • Level 3 student has 3 years to exit

      • Level 4 student has 2 years to exit

All students enrolled in a public school in Oklahoma are required to have a Home Language Survey (HLS) completed by the parent/guardian and kept on file by the attending district. The HLS asks three questions about a student’s individual linguistic background. If two or more answers are “a language other than English,” the student is understood as being influenced by an environment where a language other than English is spoken, “more often.”

If the student is not a native English speaker, the student will be given a placement assessment, the WIDA Screener, no later than 30 days after enrollment. If the student’s placement assessment score is below a Composite Proficiency level of 4.8 (encompassing all four domains of reading, writing, speaking, and listening), he or she will be designated as an English Learner (EL).

If the HLS responses indicate a language other than English one out of three times, the student is classified as influenced by an environment where a language other than English is spoken: “less often.” In this case, the student will be given a WIDA placement assessment if he or she

  • Is not a native English speaker

  • Has no previous state content assessment scores

  • Has English language state content assessment score(s)  that indicate unsatisfactory or limited knowledge

**It is important to note that the HLS assists in identifying students who may need EL services, but it is not determinative of EL status. Only a WIDA assessment can justify entrance or exit from an EL program. Furthermore, the HLS does not preclude a district from assessing a student who may have linguistic issues and be in need of support, regardless of the responses indicated on the HLS.

Exit Procedures


Students who score a 4.8 or above on the Composite Proficiency level on the ACCESS 2.0 proficiency assessment will no longer receive EL services and will be given former EL status. Former ELs are to be monitored for academic progress for four subsequent years or until graduation whichever comes first. 

ELD Program Options

Parents of students who are screened for EL placement will be notified in writing of their child’s assessment score as well as program placement recommendations. Owasso Public Schools strongly encourages parents to follow district recommendations for EL status and program services. However, parents do have the right to decline English Language Learner (ELL) services by signing a waiver. If parents opt-out of ELL services for their child, the student must still take the ACCESS 2.0 assessment each year in order to assess his/her English language proficiency.

English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Development (ELD) - Students are provided supplemental individual or small-group instruction outside the primary classroom, with no native language support. Supplemental instruction can target both language fluency and core content. Goal is to increase student success in mainstream, non-ESL supported general education classes. (WIDA correlate: EL-specific English-only (EEO) Instruction) 

Content Classes with integrated ESL support - Students are provided core content instruction with no native language support in mainstream classes utilizing integrated ESL strategies (i.e. teachers trained in EL methods, use of EL paraprofessionals, etc.). Goal is to provide appropriate EL supports in the general education classroom to the level appropriate for student success. (WIDA correlate: Mixed Classes with English-Only (MEO) Support or Mixed Classes with Native Language (MNL) Support).
Newcomer Programs - Students new to the U.S. are placed in classes that primarily emphasize English language acquisition. Instruction can be in English or can utilize a student’s native language. Goal is to move the student toward English language proficiency as quickly as possible. (WIDA correlate: EL-specific Transitional Instruction (ETI) or EL Specific English-only.

The following team at each school site provides leadership, support, and direct and indirect instruction in order to effectively implement and support the district ELD program plan:

  • Principal/Assistant Principal

  • Counselor

  • Certified ELL Teacher

  • Certified Core Subject Teacher

  • Certified Elective Teacher

  • Certified Special Ed Teacher

  • Paraprofessional

Parent Communication and Outreach

Communication at both the elementary and secondary levels will be provided to parents and guardians in the student’s home language whenever possible to ensure that families have appropriate notice regarding school activities such as parent-teacher conferences, extracurricular activities, and other special events. Additionally, progress reports, report cards, and other vital school information are communicated in the student’s home language when available.


Parent outreach efforts include the utilization of technology to deliver timely, accessible information to parents in order to keep them informed and involved in the education of their child. Translation services are also provided to parents of ELs to facilitate parent-teacher communication and to assist families in fully understanding the goals of the overall educational program.