ESL Program for Nonpublic Schools (Title III)


Title III funding is used by nonpublic schools to develop English as a Second Language (ESL) programs to support identified Limited English Proficient (LEP) students in Kindergarten through Grade 12. Schools may hire supplemental teachers and or paraprofessionals to work with LEP students on an individual or small group basis. In addition, Title III funding is utilized by nonpublic schools to purchase ESL related supplies and equipment to support program implementation and effectiveness. To help assess and evaluate the progress of these students, the State requires that all LEP students are assessed annually. The test results assist schools in determining the progress and individual needs of students as well as monitor the overall efficacy of the school's ESL program.


LEP students are also referred to as English language learners (ELLs). These students might have been born in the United States. However, since a language other then English is spoken at home, their proficiency in English is below a state designated level. Students are screened for possible entry into the ESL program with the Home Language Questionnaire.  Generally, this form is part of the school's registration packet. Further assessment is then done with the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL). Throughout the school year, the Title III mentor-tutor contributes to the evaluation of these students in collaboration with the mainstream teacher. The school is required to have a folder for each child in the Title III program, which is made available to subsequent teachers.


The curriculum is designed to simultaneously develop language, cognitive, and thinking skills. Children develop English language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and work towards proficiency by using their developing skills in a variety of natural communicative situations. An ESL curriculum generally covers both basic communicative language as well as academic language. A language experience approach is used to teach beginning reading skills.


The East Ramapo Central School District recognizes the importance of parent and community involvement in the education of LEP students and promotes parental and community participation in ESL programs as a support and enhancement to their children's learning. Parents should make every effort to be involved with and participate in their child's ESL education at their school.


Providing support for ESL staff is a priority and a significant factor in the success of the program.  Title III funding has provided extra opportunities for the schools to develop into learning communities. The Office of Funded Programs supports staff development with scheduled workshops as well as school visitations.  Some schools have contracted educational consultants to tailor their staff development program to meet the specific needs of their staff and to assist in developing their educational objectives.