We believe that every student deserves the best education and that learning experiences should have no barriers. We must discover each student’s ability and work with them to enhance their skills each day in partnership with families, faculty and the community.
Esperanza Academy Charter Schools provides multiple educational supports and services for students identified with disabilities. The services provided are:
- Learning Support
- Life Skills Support
- Emotional Support
- Speech and Language Services
- Occupational Support
- Licensed Social Worker
- Licensed School Psychologist
- Licensed Behavioral Specialist
- Special Transportation
- Para Educators
We also collaborate with the Office of Vocational and Rehabilitative Services (OVR) to provide students with transition services as they prepare for high school graduation. Esperanza provides specially designed instruction and supplemental aids and services which include audio books, use of technology and research based reading and math interventions. The programs and services provided for students identified with disabilities at Esperanza Academy Charter Schools vary and we will continue to alter our programs in accordance with the demands of our changing learning environment.
It is important for parents to understand the special education process. Parents play a vital role on the team that decides the appropriate services for their child.
Please download the Pennsylvania Parent Guide To Special Education booklet designed to help parents better understand the special education process so they can participate in the educational decision-making process for their child. The chapters in this booklet address frequently asked questions and concerns parents of a child with a disability may have regarding special education.
The English Language Development program is designed to assist English Learners (ELs) with improving their proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in social and academic English. The goal of the program is to provide ELs with the English language skills needed to promote academic literacy and successfully participate in all aspects of our academic program. Our program is culturally relevant, research based and designed for college and career readiness. The curriculum is aligned to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s English Language Development (ELD) Standards and Pennsylvania’s Core Standards (PACS).
What is an English Learner (EL)?
- An English learner is generally a student who speaks or hears another language in their home and/or whose dominant language is not English. Generally speaking, if students have more than one language in their language repertoire, they may need additional support in attaining academic English language proficiency in a school setting.
How do you determine if a student would benefit from English Language instruction?
- When a student enters Esperanza Academy, parents or guardians complete a Home Language Survey which reveals if a language other than English is used in the home. If another language is specified, we perform a family interview and if necessary will administer a screener assessment to determine the best placement and programming for the student. If a student is placed in the ELD program, we inform the parents of the placement and of the suggested services for the student. Participation in the ELD program is optional for students with parental consent.
How do you determine a student’s English proficiency?
- After we conduct the family interview, if necessary we assess the student to determine their English Language Proficiency level. This determines the level of the students’ academic English, meaning the language they would use in an academic or professional setting. The levels range from 1.0-6.0 and the descriptions of each level are below.
- Level 1: Entering – Students may be non-verbal or speak very little English.
- Level 2: Beginning – Students can use common phrases or short sentences and have some academic language.
- Level 3: Developing – Students will use familiar oral and written language with some expanded sentence length and short paragraphs.
- Level 4: Expanding – Students may use oral and written academic and technical language of different complexity.
—–Students can be recommended for reclassification after they achieve a proficiency level of 4.5. —-
- Level 5: Bridging – Students’ oral and written academic and technical language approach that of their non-EL peers.
- Level 6: Reaching – Students at this level are comparable to those of a native English speaker and have most likely already exited the program.
What programs does Esperanza offer for EL learners?
- Esperanza Academy High School has a large variety of programs to help our English Learners succeed in their acquisition of academic English and their content classes, such as:
- English Language Development courses – Students are placed in these courses based on their EL level and are specifically designed to help a student increase their English proficiency in the four domains (reading, writing, listening, speaking), which in turn helps them succeed in their content area classes.
- English Language Arts 9/10 + 11/12 courses – When a student has reached a proficiency level of 3, these students are placed in the ELA 9/10 or 11/12 courses which are transitional courses that allow the students to receive English Language Arts instruction with a focus on improving their language proficiency and knowledge of literature.
- Paraprofessional support – Many students are assigned a paraprofessional that helps them in their content area courses and provides the students with tutoring in areas of particular difficulty. These paraprofessionals may pull students outside of the classroom environment to provide individual support or may push into the classroom environment to help the students in the class itself.
Where do I go if I want to know more?
- You can access the Basic Education Circular, or the BEC, which is a document provided by the state that provides the general parameters of English Language instruction through this link:
- You can also access the ESLPortalPA, a website developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education that provides information, guidance, and tools for language instruction in PA. You can access it through the following link:
Who can I contact regarding my EL student in Esperanza?
- You can reach the English Language Development Coordinator, Victor Perez-Serrano, through his email: email@example.com
Child Find Policy
It is the policy of Esperanza Academy Charter School that all students with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated. This responsibility is required by a Federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, 20 U.S.C. 1200 et. seq. (“IDEA 2004”). Chapter 711 of Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code requires the publication of a notice to parents sufficient to inform parents of children applying to or already enrolled in the charter school of (1) available special education services and programs, (2) how to request those services and programs, and of (3) systematic screening activities that lead to the identification, location and evaluation of children with disabilities enrolled in the charter school. The purpose of this Annual Notice is to comply with the school’s obligations under Chapter 711 of Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code. Complete policy is found here.
The College & Career Center is just one of the many avenues that Esperanza Academy Charter High School ensures that they are not only providing quality education to their students, but preparing them to be critically thinking and socially capable adults. The College and Career Center provides students with individualized assistance through post-secondary exploration and planning.
The College and Career Center presents – Senior Survival Guide (PDF)
Here students will find everything they need to know about college such as the college process, financial aid, scholarship information, and a look at the top colleges in PA. It also includes Esperanza Academy’s graduation requirements!
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