The Hamilton City Schools English as a Second Language Program (ESL) has continued to grow each year. We currently have the 15th largest ESL program in the State of Ohio, serving nearly 600 English Language Learners (ELL’s) in grades K-12. These students represent approximately 30 countries from around the globe. Currently, there are 16 languages other than English spoken by HCSD’s students and families. Spanish, French, and a variety of Micronesian languages are the most common non-English languages spoken at home by HCSD families.
Every building offers support for English Language Learners. The type and frequency of services provided to students is based on student’s language level, literacy needs, and teacher recommendations. Services include direct pull-out service, classroom support, progress monitoring, and sheltered content classes (7-12). Secondary ESL students may participate in a leveled ESL English class intended to increase English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Participation in the ESL Program does not prevent students from receiving help or participating in other district programs. Our goal is to provide tiered support to English Language Learners to meet their needs and help them become proficient English readers, speakers, and writers. This is achieved through the utilization of instructional best practices, data-driven interventions, and collaborative problem solving with families, administrators, and teachers.
We currently employ 16 teachers to support the needs of students in our ESL program. We have 11 elementary school teachers providing services at our 8 neighborhood K-6 elementary school buildings and 5 teachers at our secondary school buildings. We also employ 4 part time native language support personnel and 1 district translator to assist Spanish-speaking students and parents. Support for additional languages may be provided by Global to Local Language Solutions or by other bilingual HCSD staff members. This support helps to bridge the communication gap between our students/parents and school staff.