English Language Development
History of the ELD Program
The Lebanon School District has a long and proud history of teaching the English language to students who speak a language other than English. English Language Development (ELD) instruction, also known as ESL or ESOL, formally began in our district in the mid 1960’s, however students from many language backgrounds attended the Lebanon City schools since the district was founded in 1852.
During the 1960’s children from several Greek families were the first students to receive ELD services. By the end of the decade, two full-time ELD teachers were providing instruction to our growing population of non-English speaking students. Over the years, students from five continents and over twenty-one different language backgrounds have made their home in Lebanon and learned how to speak, listen to, read and write English with the help of Lebanon School District’s ELD teachers and staff. All the teachers in the ELD Department have earned the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Program Specialist Certification, and most have acquired a master’s degree with a specialization in English language instruction.
Services for English Learners
In accordance with the Lebanon School District Educational Priorities and in compliance with the Federal Law, the District provides in English Language Development (ELD) program for students who are English Learners (ELs). The goal of the ELD program is to provide specialized instruction to assist ELs to develop English while accessing grade level content instruction and meeting academic standards as required by Pennsylvania.
Upon enrollment, Lebanon School District administers the State required English Language Proficiency assessment for those students who indicate a primary home language other than English. For those students who qualify for ELD services, parents are notified of the supports that their students will receive, and students are placed in the appropriate ELD course.
The District’s ELD program provides research-based instruction in academic reading, writing, speaking, and listening through specialized services or classes for ELs that are based on students’ English proficiency levels and grade level content. Research has demonstrated that ELs who receive explicit designated instruction in English development attain English proficiency more quickly than those who do not.
English Learners are assessed annually by the ACCESS exam to measure their growth and to determine their continued eligibility for the program. Your child will receive specialized instruction in the ELD program until he/she attains English language proficiency and meets the State-established exit criteria. The expected rate of reclassification from EL status is five years, depending on the individual needs of the student.
If you prefer that your child not participate in designated English language development classes for ELs, you may decline enrollment in specialized classes. In this case, your child will continue to be identified as an EL and will be administered the annual ACCESS assessment. Your child’s progress will be monitored and you may request that your child participate in the ELD program at any time.
For further information or to decline participation in the ELD program, please contact Amber Hilt, Director of ELD at 717-270-6761.
ELD Program Contact Information
Director: Ms. Amber Hilt
Program Assistant: Mr. Jeff Klinger