Understanding the US School System

Discover what parents of English language learners should learn and understand to better navigate the US schools system 

school registration
School Registration in Elementary and Secondary School School

US schools welcome new students coming from all over the world every day. It is one of the unique responsibilities that we, as ESL teachers, enjoy the most. Have you ever wonder how schools will support your child when he/she arrives at a new US school? As an ESL Coordinator, I have had the opportunity to set up a welcoming environment for students that come from around the world to our schools.


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Learning English in Elementary School

Program models in schools vary depending on staff availability and school-wide resources. Across the United States, most schools use the described English language learners programs to teach English language learners.  


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Using Google Translate to Support from Home

Helping out with homework is one of the most difficult tasks parents of bilinguals experience when the parent does not speak the target language. I still remember attending middle and high school, having to do homework on my own, and figuring out what I had to do.


annual english language test

Annual English Language Test

The annual ACCESS test, also known as the WIDA test is an annual proficiency test that measures a student’s language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The test informs classroom instruction and helps make placement decisions for students in kindergarten to twelve grade.


iamge of pencils

Understanding the Home Language Survey Form

Many parents wonder how their child is identified as an English language learner (ELL). As an English language coordinator, I am often asked to explain why their child was tested for English as a Second Language (ESL) services.

Parents also ask how their child was identified as an ELL student. Identification of an English language learner begins with the completion of a Home Language Survey (HLS) Form during new student registration.


a chart shows different levels

Understanding Spanish Language Proficiency Levels Reports

Just like Smarter Balance, world language immersion programs are using a Spanish language arts proficiency report to inform of a child’s language proficiency level for students participating in Spanish language immersion programs.

More About the US School System…

Find other resources and information addressing the US school system.

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