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Sunnyside Elementary has a large migrant student population. Migrant Education is a federally-funded program that provides services to children and youth from ages 3 to 21, whose education has been interrupted in the past 3 years because of the need for migrant parents to relocate to other areas in order to find agricultural, seasonal work to support their families.

The program serving Sunnyside is part of Tulare County Office of Education services to the District. Sunnyside is part of Migrant Education Program, Region VIII, which serves migrant students and their families in Tulare and Kings Counties. There are approximately 23,000 migrant students enrolled in the Program in both counties. Sunnyside has over 300 migrant students.

The Migrant Education Program provides supplementary educational, health and family services by developing agreements with school districts. Sunnyside has an agreement with the Migrant Program. The goal of the Migrant Education Program is to work in cooperation with our district to supplement the district's educational program and to promote each migrant student's progress in school.

The Migrant Education Program services are supplemental and are provided in various ways: health services; health education; pre-kindergarten classes; counseling; tutoring; enrichment and fine arts programs; extended day, evening, weekend and summer school programs; math programs for students & families; outdoor education - SCICON; intensive social services referrals; mentoring; intensive reading/math groups, secondary education; and parent education literacy centers. Migrant parents are an important part of the education of a child and are included as an integral part of the program. District, Regional and State parent advisory councils play an active role in providing and advocating services to children. The Sunnyside Migrant Parent Group meets each month.

District Goals for English Language Learners:

  • English Language learners will develop proficiency in English and in the district’s core curriculum and be re-designated to Fluent English Proficient status with in five years, or sooner.
  • To develop literacy appropriate to grade level content and performance standards
  • To develop English language proficiency at the level of a native English speaker as rapidly and efficiently as possible in order that students can participate fully in appropriate and meaningful instruction.
  • To develop academic achievement in all content areas appropriate to grade level standards.
  • To develop a strong, positive self-image that will support student achievement and citizenship.

When a student is enrolled at Sunnyside, the parent will fill out a home language survey. The responses will be used to determined initial testing for class placement. The CELDT will be used to determine initial placement. The new English Language Learners test will also be used as the State moves it into place. Students who have a primary language other than English are properly identified, assessed, and reported as stated in district policy. A Home Language Survey (HLS) is used to determine the primary language and is on file in the student’s folder for each student. The HLS is administered at the time of enrollment by a trained staff member and is included in the initial enrollment process. All four questions are administered through a translator if needed. The HLS is available in the language of the parent or guardian.

Each English learner receives a program of instruction in English language development in order to develop proficiency in English as rapidly and as effectively as possible. English Language Development is a specific program curriculum aligned to the ELD and ELA standards. Sunnyside Elementary School District provides daily ELD instruction as a daily part of the academic core curriculum. All four domains (comprehension, speaking, reading, writing) of the ELD standards are used as a vehicle to move students into the ELA standards as quickly as possible. The district has adopted (Name ELD Program) to provide ELD instruction. Students receive ELD instruction appropriate to their identified language proficiency level.

Benchmarks will be used to determine whether English Learners are learning at a rate that will enable them to achieve academically. English language development for English Learners is based on the ELD standards.

English learners will meet the district’s content and performance standards for their respective grade levels in core curricular areas. Sunnyside Union Elementary School District has elected to follow the simultaneous approach, implementing a program designed to keep EL at grade level in all areas of the curriculum. Access to content will be differentiated between students at language proficiency stages 1-2 and 3-5. Students at stage one and two will be provided access to content through primary language by the classroom teacher, who has ELD/SDAIE training, and a para-professional in the classroom. Students at stages three through five will be provided access to the content via approaches that are designated for English learners, i.e. SDAIE, primary language support and other approaches specific to second language learners. Lessons, curriculum, and materials appropriate to English learners will be used based on their language proficiency level. An example of these materials are: the Hampton Brown, Into English series.

English learners with less than reasonable fluency are placed in structured English Immersion (SEI) program for a period not normally to exceed one year. If a child has not achieved a reasonable level of fluency at the end of the year, the student may re-enroll with parent permission. The SEI program provides a language acquisition process for children in which nearly all classroom instruction is in English but the curriculum and presentation of content is designed for children learning English as a second language.

English learners are placed in an SEI program when the student has been assessed to be at ELD stages-beginning, early intermediate, or intermediate. The primary language is used to provide access to the content and to support the learning of the English language. Instruction is provided by a teacher with the appropriate authorization, i.e. CLAD, BCLAD, SB 1969 and supported by bilingual a paraprofessional.

The Structured English Immersion Program provides instruction overwhelming in English while providing support in the child's native language. Instruction in English accounts for most of the instructional day. Subject matter content is taught using the Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) approach when appropriate.

Students are exited from the Structured English Immersion Program once a reasonable level of English Language proficiency has been reached as measured by state approved assessments. A reasonable level of English is defined as Early Advanced on the ELD state exam and at least a “C” average in all content classes.

English learners with reasonable fluency in English have been placed in an English language mainstream classroom. The criteria to determine when English Learners have acquired reasonable fluency is as follows: Students who are assessed to be Advanced or Early Advanced on the ELD state exam and have at least a “C” average in content classes are placed in an English Mainstream program. Students who meet this criteria will be determined to have a good working understanding of English.

The English Language Mainstream program is an educational approach intended to develop English literacy and academic skills at grade level. It is designed for students that are either native English speakers or have already acquired a reasonable fluency in English. The program uses District adopted materials in English and all subjects are taught in English.

The district ensures that all teaching personnel are qualified to provide the instructional services to English Learners. Qualified teachers have been assigned to implement the required English Language Development (ELD) instruction and provide access to the core curriculum. The district will implement measures to remedy any teacher shortages when a shortage of qualified teachers is identified. Teachers who do not possess the appropriate teaching authorization are notified and are required to enroll and complete either the CLAD/BCLAD or SB 1969.

The District provides an in service training program which results in qualifying existing and future personnel to provide appropriate instructional services to English learners. The program is based on teacher and student needs determined by PQR planning, SWP planning, II/USP, and staffing needs. The district provides reimbursement for SB 1969 training, CLAD examination, and test preparation classes.