• Putnam County ESL/ OCR Compliance Report

    Descriptive Report on Services to English Learners (EL)


    • Student Identification
    • Student Language Assessment
    • ESL Program Participation
    • Student Placement and Services
    • Personnel Responsibilities
    • Transition and Exit
    • Program Evaluation and Monitoring




    Every student who enters the Putnam County School System completes a Home Language Survey form to determine if there is a language influence other than English.  This will identify any languages other than English that are:


    • First learned or acquired by the student;
    • Used by the student in the home;
    • Used by the student with friends outside the home.


    Upon enrollment, all schools in the Putnam County School System require a parent or guardian to complete the Home Language Survey (HLS).  When a parent or guardian is non-English or limited English speaking, a bilingual translator is provided if necessary.


    If a language other than English is identified in any of the Primary/Home Language Survey responses, the student will be identified as a potential EL student.  (See Student Language Assessment.)




    Potential EL students will be given the language proficiency screener, the W-APT, by an ESL teacher within four weeks of the beginning of the school year or within 10 days of subsequent enrollment.  After administering the W-APT screener the ESL teacher communicates student results and available support services to parents.  Parents are given the option to waive available services.  Students are eligible for services in accordance with the state ESL guidelines.


    Tennessee is by law an “English-only” state, and all instruction and assessment must be in English.  Alternative language instructional programs, such as ESL, designed to increase the English language proficiency, must be based on sound educational research theory and practices.


    Assessment of English Language Proficiency

    • Students who have another language background as identified by their HLSs will be administered the W-APT to determine their English language skills.  Students who score less than proficient are classified as EL and provided services in the ESL program.  They are exited from direct services to being monitored when a proficient score is attained.  
    • All students served in the ESL program shall be administered the WIDA ACCESS annually to determine readiness to exit, as well as to measure progress.  These scores will be kept on file to document eligibility and provide data for submission to the State Department of Education regarding program accountability and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
    • Students whose parents waived ESL services (coded as W) will still be entitled to accommodations, and will be administered the WIDA ACCESS annually until gaining a proficient score. 
    • All data related to student eligibility will be maintained in the student’s permanent folder and the ESL department.




    The ESL program is designed to meet the educational needs of EL students.  The ESL curriculum provides for the development of English language proficiency skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  ESL services must be based on the student’s needs.  The following guidelines are used in determining instructional services:


    ESL Services

    • Must be delivered by a certified teacher with an English as a Second Language endorsement who demonstrates English fluency in all language domains including listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
    • Must be delivered during the regular school day, although supplemental support may include after school tutorials or summer school programs.
    • For beginner or intermediate level EL students, services must be provided daily.  If daily services are not possible, equivalent services may be provided with approval by the State Department of Education.


    Grades and classroom success must be monitored by the ESL department or the ESL teacher.  EL students are entitled to modifications and accommodations in content and grading to the extent that they can be successful.  If failing grades are given, documentation should be provided to determine that the language proficiency level is not the cause.  Students cannot be failed based solely on language proficiency.


    Parents of ELL students are provided communication in a language they understand, to the extent practicable.




    ESL student identification and services should be based on the guidance provided by the Tennessee Department of Education.  As an initial step in placement, the ESL teacher and Guidance Counselor conduct a review of prior educational records.  If a student comes from a different state with language proficiency scores, those will be used for placement.  If not, the W-APT will be administered.  Current and/or past grades, if applicable will be considered in the placement process. 


    These services are offered as needed:


    • Modification of regular classroom assignments and tests
    • Pull-out individual or small group instruction by an ESL teacher
    • Appropriate technology activities/other instructional activities
    • Sheltered classes
    • Newcomer center for new English Speakers
    • After-school and summer programs, if offered
    • Parent involvement
    • Other special programs/supplemental services for which the student qualifies
    • Monitoring academic progress of EL students


    The district has a policy that ensures age-appropriate, grade-level placement and prohibits retention based solely on deficiencies in English language skills.


    Students documented as EL are also entitled to other services such Title I, Special Education, Gifted and Talented, and Vocational Education programs as appropriate.  Language proficiency cannot be criteria for exclusion. 





    • Recommends, implements, and maintains program policies, procedures, schedules, and budgets.
    • Ascertains that the goals and requirements of the program are met.
    • Supervises annual English proficiency testing, including ordering of testing materials, dissemination, development, and maintenance of records.
    • Oversees implementation of programming and placement at the newcomer center.
    • Supports monitoring of transitional, EL, and W students’ progress.
    • Coordinates ESL services with all other departments in the school system.
    • Plans staff development activities in conjunction with the Supervisors of Instruction.
    • Meets regularly with program staff and other school system administrators.
    • Oversees the preparation and dissemination of program communications.
    • Coordinates and disseminates project reports.


    • Ensures student enrollment forms, including Home Language Surveys, are completed for each student enrolling in the School and will be maintained in the cumulative folder.
    • Informs the ESL teacher serving the school of newly enrolled, potential EL students.
    • Provides appropriate/comparable space for ESL instruction.
    • Ensures that EL students are provided appropriate ESL services.


    • Creates and maintains an instructional climate that is conducive to learning.
    • Assists with the identification of EL students using appropriate assessment instruments.
    • Plans and implements ESL instruction based on identified needs of individual students.
    • Evaluates student performance in the ESL classroom and provides classroom teachers with input regarding student progress.
    • Monitors the progress of transitional students, EL, and W students.
    • Maintains ESL records for each student.
    • Attends professional development for increasing knowledge of ESL and content strategies and methodology.
    • Provides information on EL students to state and federal agencies when requested.
    • Assists EL students in understanding American culture and encourages all students to understand other cultures.
    • Functions as resource member of local school staff.
    • Conducts in-service training for staff on ESL intervention and instructional strategies.


    • Communicates closely with the ESL teacher regarding the EL student’s progress and class assignments.
    • Provides the ESL teacher with required information for completing reports to state and federal agencies.
    • Takes advantage of staff development opportunities to increase understanding of EL students’ needs and to learn effective ESL strategies.
    • Modifies tests and assignments when needed and appropriate.





    Support services for transitional EL students can take many forms depending on the individual needs of the student.  The ESL Coordinator or the ESL teacher should monitor the student’s performance in the classroom by checking the student’s report card and test scores and by discussing each student’s progress with the classroom teacher.  Students are offered other services as appropriate.  Monitoring of T1 students occurs bimonthly.  Monitoring of T2 students occurs twice a grading period.



    Students exit from ESL services based on proficiency in all areas of language – listening, speaking, reading, and writing – as determined by the annual WIDA ACCESS proficiency assessment. 


    EL students are monitored for two years after meeting exit criteria.  These are considered transitional years to ensure grade level success.  The first monitoring year the EL student is classified as T1 (transitional 1), and the second monitoring year the EL student is classified as T2 (transitional 2).  These two additional years allow for the student to be counted as EL for district reporting.  If indications arise that the T1 or T2 EL student is not being successful, then support services are again offered based on student needs.  Services could be limited to a specific content area, or the student could be offered ESL Program services again, if necessary, with approval of the ESL Coordinator.




    • All students are eligible to enroll regardless of immigrant status.
    • Our district maintains a database containing information on students who have a primary or home language other than English includes:

                                        Date of Entry

                                        Date of birth

                                        Grade level

                                        Home Language

                                        Current School Achievement test data

                                        Proficiency Level

                                        Supplemental Programs participation



    Our district annually completes the state LEP survey, which reports the number of EL students being served by each school. This information is used to determine the staffing necessary to meet the needs of EL students for each school year.


    Our district communicates important school information to EL parents in a language that they can understand, to the extent practicable. TransACT’s Translation Library is used to provide language communication support to parents who speak a language other than English as well as on-site translations.

    Our district has a procedure whereby the parents or legal guardians may waive alternative language services for their child. However, our district informs the parents of the potential educational implications of waiving these services, and will be administered the WIDA ACCESS annually until gaining a proficient score.  (See Assessment of English Language Proficiency.)


    Students who are no longer eligible because of proficiency in English (coded F or G), or those who never qualified for EL status, must be reported to the state department of education as Non-English Language Background (NELB) on the annual data collection survey. Grades, academic progress in English and content areas, retention rates, drop-out rates, participation in other programs, graduation rates, and performance on state assessments are all monitored and/or reported