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English Language Development (ELD)

The Donegal School District offers a K-12 English as a Second Language (ESL) Program to eligible students. The goals of the program are:

  • To provide an ESL program for English Language Learners (ELL) whose first language is not English in order to promote listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English.
  • To enable our ELLs to be present in regular classroom environments at their appropriate grade level in all areas of instruction and learning, where instruction is conducted exclusively in English.
  • To enable all of our ELLs to achieve academic proficiency in compliance with any and all applicable academic standards required of Donegal students.
  • To achieve the required level of proficiency on the annual measurement of English acquisition required by the state of Pennsylvania.

Students are identified for ESL services using a home language survey that parents complete during the enrollment process, through the administration of an English language proficiency assessment and through a review of academic records.

ESL instruction may be delivered through pullout instruction, co-teaching models, or in class support depending on student needs.  Instruction and assessment are adjusted to meet the needs of the individual student.

During the enrollment process, district staff meets with the potential ELL student and his/her parents for an orientation and to administer an English language proficiency assessment. Interpretation and translation are made available for parents/students to ensure the school program is understandable, to help with the student's adjustment and to help parents with assistance in the school if needed. 

Once an ELL student is enrolled, the Donegal School District encourages parental support and involvement in school activities. Students are encouraged to participate in activities provided by the district. Band, chorus, student government and athletics are examples of activities in which ELL students may be involved.  An underlying objective of the ESL program is to provide a source of support as the student seeks to understand and adapt to his or her new cultural and academic setting. ESL and classroom teachers work together to develop an appreciation of their students’ strengths within the school setting and to ensure full access to the range of educational opportunities available in the Donegal School District. Throughout the school year, our ESL teachers consult with other staff members who work with our ELL students.

Donegal School District is a part of the WIDA (World-class Instructional Design and Assessment) consortium. WIDA produces the annual assessments used to determine eligibility for exit from services. Exit from services is based on performance on the annual language proficiency assessment, district assessments and on the annual state achievement assessments (PSSA/Keystones). Exited students are monitored for two years by ESL staff in collaboration with content teachers.

For more information about the legal requirements of an English As A Second Language program, please visit

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