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786 Cleveland Avenue, SW Atlanta, Georgia 30315-7299 404-768-3600 www.fultonschools.

ESOL Department
ESOL Coordinator: Barbara Beaverson

Parent Q&A
The ESOL Department currently serves over 5,000 English Langauge Learner (ELL) students who qualify for ESOL
services based on the W-APT placement test (initial screening) or the ACCESS for ELLs Test (annual measure). Our
goal is to assist students in acquiring/learning both social and academic English through content and to ensure their
success in mainstream classrooms. The ESOL Curriculum addresses both English/Language Arts CCGPS and the
WIDA Standards.

How is eligiblity for the ESOL program determined?

If the need to screen is determined based on information gatherered at enrollment, a student must be administered
the W-APT language placement test and the parent/guardian notified of the results within ten days of enrollment.
Parent/guardian permission is not needed to screen for eligibility. The school system is required by law to identify
and screen students who may qualify for the ESOL program. If the sudent qualifies, the parent/guardian is notified
and services are begun. Students who qualify for ESOL services will be tested annually with the ACCESS for ELLs
test to measure growth and to determine continued eligibilty for the program.

What if I dont feel my student needs the services provided by the ESOL program?

Parents/guardians do have the right to refuse services and sign a one-year waiver of services. Even if services are
waived, the student must be tested with the ACCESS for ELLs test, the annual language proficiency exam, in
January/February. Based on the test results and exiting criteria set by the Georgia Deparmtent of Education, Title
III Office, students will be either eligible to receive services the following school year or will exit the ESOL program.

What are the benefits of having your child/children participate in the ESOL program?

The ESOL program assists students in acquiring both social and academic language in English. Many teachers and
parents struggle with the fact that their child/children can communicate socially but cannot perform academically
in the classroom. There is a significant difference between language that is used for daily communication and
language used for academic purposes. It can take anywhere from five to seven years for students to develop
academic language which includes many language structures used in academic writing and reading. Students
whose parents waive services do not receive the specialized instruction given in the ESOL program that assists in
the acquisition/learning of the skills needed for success in the regular educational environment. While these
students may appear to being doing well academically, certain skills are not acquired/learned and will continue to
compound as language deficits as they continue through their educational career. In particular, writing skills may
suffer as well as their ability to comprehend complex text.

What curriculum is followed for ELLs in the ESOL program?

The Fulton County ESOL Department has a curriculum and adopted instructional materials for grades K-12. The
ESOL curriculum and materials are used in all ESOL classrooms in order to provide language instruction
appropriate for the students language levels. The materials and curriculum are aligned to the CCGPS standards for
Language Arts and the WIDA standards (state standards for ESOL).

What are the WIDA standards?

The WIDA standards are the state adopted language proficiency standards. There are five standards and four
domains for each standard. Students are measured on these standards on the annual language proficiency exam,
ACCESS. ACCESS scores directly correlate to the success ELLs will have on standardized AYP measures. All staff
members who work with ELLs have been trained to use the WIDA standards (as required by the GA DOE, Title III

786 Cleveland Avenue, SW Atlanta, Georgia 30315-7299 404-768-3600 www.fultonschools.org

What are the required segment lengths for each grade level?

K-3 45 minute segments
4-8 50 minute segments
9-12 55 minute segments

What are the current Fulton County maximum ESOL class sizes?

Grade Levels No Aide With Aide
K-3 11 13
4-8 14 15
9-12 18 20

What instructional models are used for ELLs in Fulton County?

All instructional models used in Fulton County are approved by the Georgia Department of Education (GA DOE).
Model Description Grade Levels Used
Pull-Out ESOL Student taken out of class for purpose of receiving
small group instruction.
Scheduled class period

Class to provide language instruction
(ESOL/Language Arts)
Sheltered Content Content area class (Math, Science, Social Studies,
Language Arts) that contains only ELLs

Students remain in the general education class where
they receive instruction from their content teacher
and language assistance from the ESOL teacher.

How many segments are recommended for each ELL in the ESOL Program?

ELL Y students in grades K-3 typically receive one segment of ESOL daily. Students in grades 4-8 typically receive
one or two segments each day. Two segments are recommended for students who fall into the language proficiency
range of 14.5. The number of segments will depend on a variety of factors, including number of ESOL teachers,
number of ELLs at the school, proficiency levels, etc.

High school students may be enrolled in up to five segments of ESOL and/or sheltered content courses. Again, this
is dependent on a number of factors at the school. Students in levels 1-4 should receive all of the support they are
eligible for when available.

Students who qualify for special education and ESOL are to be served in both programs as required under Federal

What does ELL M Monitored mean?

When students no longer qualify for the ESOL program, they are monitored for two calendar years to ensure a
smooth transition into mainstream classes. Schools designate personnel who are responsible for monitoring the
ELL M students. These students are eligible for instructional and testing accommodations if needed. The school
will create an annual testing plan for each student.

786 Cleveland Avenue, SW Atlanta, Georgia 30315-7299 404-768-3600 www.fultonschools.org
What are the AMAOs (Annual Measureable Achievement Objectives) for ESOL?

No Child Left Behind, the federal education law, requires every state to set three goals for school districts when it
comes to education ELLs. These goals are called Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives and measure progress
in three different ways:
1. The first goal (AMAO 1) measures the percentage of students who are making progress toward proficiency in
2. The second goal (AMAO 2) measures the percentage of students who have become proficient in English.
3. The third goal (AMAO 3) denotes whether the school districts ELL students met academic goals in
mathematics and reading.