English Learners (ELs) Programs

The intent of the Irvington Public School District’s English Learners (ELs) Program is to ensure that students receive a well-developed program that includes the integral components of language arts (e.g., listening, writing, grammar, spelling, composition) as well as the language of the content areas (e.g. mathematics, science and social studies).

It is our obligation, as educators, to respond to the affective needs of students as well as to their cognitive needs. Students, in our program, feel motivated to learn and they are given opportunities to express their own meaning in a non-threatening environment. Cultural understanding is promoted in various ways so that students are prepared to live more harmoniously in our community. We therefore hope to instill in our EL students a positive, realistic understanding of their individual worth, abilities and potentials. This will be done as ELs progress through grades and become useful, productive and broadminded individuals in our society.

World Language Program

Based on current research early exposure to a second language has a lasting academic effect on students.

  • Young children are at an optimal time to learn other languages;
  • Children in early second language programs, where curriculum is aligned with other core areas, show gains in standardized tests of basic skills, and derive additional cognitive and affective benefits;
  • Early language learning results in improved literacy skills. Reading and writing processes are similar for first and second languages. Skills and strategies are transferable for first to second language and vice versa. Well-constructed elementary world languages curriculum will positively influence literacy skills in both first and second language learning; and
  • Improved second language capability for students can only be obtained with uninterrupted, well-sequenced, long-term language instruction.

Most of all, the need for a second language is not a luxury, it is a requirement if our students are going to compete with a global marker and universal workplace.

  • Our program provides coherent and standards-based world language programming through research-based best practices, professional learning, and development of curriculum and assessments
  • Our program provides students access to language learning, cultural literacy and global competency critical to college, career and community readiness
  • Our program provides student access to a challenging and well-rounded education, inclusive of world language learning for all.

NJ Family Care

Families of children enrolled in the Bilingual/ESL program may be eligible for comprehensive health coverage, even if someone in the household is undocumented. A parents’ immigration status has no effect on the eligibility of a child. You may contact NJ Family Care’s information line at 1-800-701-0710 or apply online at www.njfamilycare.org

NJDOE Newly Redesigned Spanish Language Parent Portal

The New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) Office of Supplemental Educational Programs is announcing the release of a newly redesigned Spanish Language Parent Portal, which can be found online at http://nj.gov/education/bilingual/parents/spanish/.

Click Here To Register

The purpose of the pre-kindergarten to grade twelve (12) programs is to ensure that all English Learners (EL) students are provided with an appropriate public education to meet their academic, social and cultural needs. Students who speak a second language at home are assessed by a WIDA certified English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher when they first enter our school district. Students are administered the WIDA MODEL – English Language Proficiency Test to determine if English language services are required. The results of this assessment, plus one other indicator, determine if the student should be enrolled in an English language program.

The Bilingual Program (Spanish and Haitian Creole) – is a full-time program of instruction, which a child is entitled to receive based on Federal and State law, given in the native language of the EL student and also in English.

Current Programs

  • Pre- K Bilingual Native Language Support – Augusta Pre-School / Providers
  • Transitional Bilingual Education in Kindergarten to Second Grades – Florence Avenue – Spanish and Chancellor Avenue – Haitian Creole
  • Irvington High School Bilingual Co-Teaching Model for Grades 9 and 10 for Math, Science, Social Studies Classes – Program Offered to Spanish and Haitian Creole students with low English proficiency levels.

The English as a Second Language Program – a daily developmental second language program of one or two periods of instruction per day to achieve English language proficiency as the alternate program to a bilingual program. All district schools offer ESL programs.

The Structured Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model – a research-based and validated model of sheltered instruction that has been successfully used across the U.S. for over 15 years.  All district staff have received professional development on the SIOP Model, which helps teachers plan and deliver lessons that allow ELs to acquire academic knowledge as they develop English language proficiency.

EL Enrichment After School Program – a program that provides homework help as well as intensive reading, writing and speaking activities to support daily content instruction.

Imagine Learning Program – a computer-delivered language and literacy program that works to close the achievement gap at an accelerated rate by automatically creating a unique curriculum for each student based on his or her needs. There was a pilot program during 15-16 school year at Florence Avenue.   Expansion of the program will occur at Chancellor Avenue and Augusta Preschool during the 16-17 school year.

ELLEVATION – a software company exclusively focused on English Learners (ELs) and the educators that serve them. The Ellevation platform puts all information and data about ELs in one place, helping educators enhance instruction, save time, and improve collaboration.

The Enrollment, Placement and Assessment Steps for ELs –

  • Home Language Survey
  • Administration of an English Proficiency Testing
  • Parental Notification & Consent
  • Program Placement
  • Yearly WIDA ACCESS Proficiency Assessments
  • Exiting Program Based on WIDA ACCESS Scores
  • Elementary School Program:
    • All 4th and 5th grade students are receiving Spanish twice a week for one period a day. Level C for 4th grade and Level D for 5th grade, second year of full implementation.
  • Middle School Program
    • All grades (6 to 8) are using the newly adopted program for Spanish (Sanitllana) and French (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
  • High School Program
    • In addition to offering a sequential Spanish and French program at the high school, we also introduced the Rosetta Stone Program during the 2014-2015, providing additional language opportunities to our students: Spanish, French, Mandarin, Arab, Italian and Japanese.
    • Both Santillana and Harcourt curriculums were purchased for their consistency to national and state curriculum, uniformity / sequence of second language acquisition process and its alignment to CCSS.


NJDOE Office off Bilingual/ESL Education:

USDOE – Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA):  http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/index.html

WIDA – ACCESS 2.0 Assessment:

NJTESOL – NJBIL Organization: