BY CURTIS CARDEN, Elizabethton Star
Efforts from Elizabethton City Schools were recognized on a statewide level this month.
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen recently released the 2018 English language proficiency assessment (ELPA) results from the WIDA ACCESS assessment.
According to information provided by the state, scores show that nearly 50 percent of English learners who took the test met their growth standard in 2018, up from 45.5 percent in 2017.
“Tennessee students speak more than 140 languages, and it is our responsibility to ensure all of these students are supported in both their English language development and in their academic growth,” McQueen said in a release issued to the Elizabethton Star. “These results show encouraging progress and that what we are doing to support our students is working. In Tennessee, we are committed to the growth and development of all students, and through our continued efforts we will be able to better support our English learners.”
The state indicated that 17.6 percent of English Learners (ELs) met the exit criteria on the WIDA ACCESS in 2018, up from 16.8 percent in 2017. The 2018 scores also showed that seven state school districts, including Elizabethton City Schools, had 40 percent or more students meet the exit criteria for the exam.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the state for this accomplishment,” said City Director of Schools Corey Gardenhour. “Being one of seven school districts is a great accomplishment. We just want to say thanks to our teachers for working with our students to make this happen. And of course we have to say thanks to our students for putting in the hard work to make this happen. We want to continue doing things to make educational opportunities fun and engaging for our students.”
Other school districts recognized include Collierville Schools, Germantown Municipal School District, Union City Schools, Union County Schools, Weakley Schools and Williamson County Schools.
According to the state, at the start of each school year ELs are required to have an individual learning plan that documents the strategies, accommodations and goals to be implemented in a classroom to be successful.
In a release issued to the Elizabethton Star, the department states, “to support this work, the department has developed a framework that outlines supports for ELs and provided the ESL Manual to offer guidance for teachers and administrators who are working to improve outcomes. The department has also sought to ensure these resources and training opportunities are not just utilized by ESL teachers, but by all of the students an English learner may interact with throughout the school day.”