English Language Development (ELD)

The St. Marys Area School District’s Department of English Language Development (ELD) [formerly known as English Second Language or ESL] provides eligible students that are linguistically and culturally diverse with English language instruction.  A student’s English language proficiency and academic background, are taken into consideration in order to deliver appropriate English instruction as well as content support at their level.


Our goal for English Learners (ELs) is to become independent learners in a school environment.  We help ELs gain proficiency in the English language by focusing on the development of academic skills in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  We also strive to help ELs and their families successfully adapt to our district and culture while maintaining and valuing their own culture.


Eligibility for the ELD Program


Upon entry in the St. Marys Area School District, families are required to complete a Home Language Survey.  If a language other than English is noted, a district screener will contact the family and prior school district for additional information.  If necessary, the student will complete the W-APT English language proficiency assessment to determine his/her level of English proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  Parents will be notified of placement within the thirty days if enrolled at the beginning of the school year, or within fourteen days if enrolled during the school year.


Description of Elementary, Middle, and High School Programs


At the elementary, middle, and high school levels, English learners receive ELA  instruction through a pull out program.  Direct instruction students receive instruction by a certified ELD teacher.  Additionally, support in all content areas is available through multiple models.