ESL Overview

The mission of the Pender County Schools ESL Program is to provide high-quality English language instruction that allows students to attain English proficiency, be successful in mainstream classrooms, demonstrate mastery in the Common Core and State Essential Standards, and graduate from high school within four years.

Did you know that the ESL Program is an acceleration program?  
That's right!  It is not a remedial program, not a tutoring program, and not a bilingual program.  It is an acceleration program that is designed to expedite the acquisition of English Language Proficiency as quickly as possible, while supporting students mastering grade-level content.  ESL Teachers use grade level content as a vehicle through which to teach the English Language.

Currently, the Pender County School District has approximately 430 ESL students. Spanish is the language spoken most often by our English Language Learners. Other languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Macedonian, Mixteco, Russian, Thai, Ukrainian, and Zapoteco. 

The ESL program in Pender County Schools is implementing a combination of content-based ESL and Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). Currently Pender County uses two basic service-delivery models to teach LEP students, pull-out and push-in (co-teaching when possible). The ESL teacher pulls the LEP students out of the mainstream classroom for specialized academic English language instruction, using the grade-level content as a vehicle through which to teach the English language. LEP students are also grouped in co-taught curriculum classes. In these classes, the ESL teacher and the content teacher work as a team. The ESL teacher augments student comprehension and learning by employing research-based methodology, such as SIOP. 

Except where the ESL student receives elective credit for studying the ESL course, the content teacher is responsible for determining student progress and assigning grades for the ESL student. The content teacher needs to maintain written, dated documentation describing the modifications in instruction, methodology, and assessment. The obligations under the law require the content teacher to modify the course content and language used, scaffolding instruction so that ESL students learn the basic concepts while they are developing their English proficiency. 

Sheryl Kimbro is the Director of Pender County Schools Migrant and ESL Programs. Amie Siebold serves as EL Data Manager for the district. PCS offers translation services for all schools in the district through Susannah Richardson and for Title I schools through Laura Gutierrez. They translate school-wide documents, forms, and letters; for schools with no other bilingual staff, they interpret at parent/teacher conferences, parent nights, meetings, etc. By offering effective translation services, Pender County Schools comply with federal communications requirements for the non- English speaking population, and to increase parent involvement in each school and community.