English Language Learners (ELLs) make up about 10% of our public school students in the United States. F.N. Brown School has been designated as the elementary school in Verona where students attend who are in need of English as a Second Language (ESL) services. Students whose native language is other than English or live with a parent or family member whose native language is other than English are screened for language proficiency skills. The students' reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills are assessed using the WIDA screener, a state approved English language test. The proficiency assessment is one of multiple criteria which is used for students to be considered for English language services. Staff members administering the WIDA screener must be trained and certified by completing online WIDA sponsored training modules to administer the screener. New Jersey is one of 39 states that belong to the national WIDA consortium. Once a student has been identified as needing ESL services, he or she receives 30 minutes of daily instruction at the elementary school level and a class period or 40 minutes at the middle and high school levels.
We have close to 20 students currently receiving ESL services. The majority of the students are at the elementary level, attending F.N. Brown School. Our ELLs represent 12 different languages in our school district. Those languages include the following: Turkish, Gujarati, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Korean, Swedish, Malayalam, Farsi, Mandarin, Thai and Ukrainian.