Title III

FAQs – Statewide Title III Consortium 2018-19

What’s the goal of this? Why are you here at my school?

We are here at your school because you have enrolled ELs in your district.  Your district has signed up to join the State-Wide Title III Consortium, free of charge, in order to receive support in creating programs that will benefit these students’  learning needs. We will visit your school two-three times a year to provide technical support to your ESL Team, teachers and administrators. We can also provide district-wide professional development and/or, instructional coaching. We can plan together how to best use our support this year.


Do we really have to have an endorsed ENL Teacher?

Civil Rights Case Law clearly demonstrates that English Language Learners have the right to appropriate instructional programs. This means that each school that has ELs enrolled, needs to have a highly qualified teacher working with these students.  In SD, that means a teacher with the English as a New Language (ENL) Endorsement. One of the consortium benefits is the ENL Endorsement Cohort Program. If you have any teachers who may be interested, please allow them to contact me and I could fill them in with information about our cohort program.  Just as special education students need certified special education teachers, language learners also need trained teachers who can help them develop their language skills while also learning content topics. Providing sound educational services is just what is best for kids, and that applies to ELs, too.


Is there any money to support us in our work with ELLS?

Well, yes, actually there is. The SD DOE budgets each year to provide schools with a bit of funding to support schools in their work to provide services to ELs enrolled in their districts. This money goes into the general fund and isn’t earmarked for EL so it is sometimes confusing for districts. This money can be spent on professional development for teachers to gain the tools they need to work with ELs, or to purchase specific resources for teaching ELs English Language Development (ELD). The money can be used to help a teacher to buy books for the ENL Endorsement program. It can help send teachers to workshops or pay subs for this release time. This money can also be used on support-type programs like Imagine Learning or Grammar Gallery.  It is really important to identify all ELs in your district and note that in Infinite Campus as that is how the DOE knows how much money a district should receive. The funding is about $1200 per identified student who scores less than 4.0 on the ACCESS Language Proficiency Test provided by WIDA. (This funding varies based on SD’s school funding formula.)


What is WIDA?

WIDA is a consortium of states that have created the English Language Development Standards that SD and about 40 other states that have adopted. Their headquarters is in Madison, WI at the University of Wisconsin. WIDA provides us with the language screeners and yearly proficiency tests. They also provide excellent professional development and resources for teachers.


What are some program models we could use in our school?

Your ESL Teacher (with the ENL Endorsement) doesn’t have to be a full time position. This will depend on how many ELs are enrolled and what their instructional needs are based on their language proficiency level. Perhaps you have someone on your staff already who is passionate about learning and taking on new challenges. Perhaps you have someone already on staff with a bit of a flexible schedule. A good guideline, depending on the language proficiency, is to have a person on staff who can spent 90 minutes per day with your ELs.

    • Colony Schools, ENL On-site: The majority of ELs are in the K-2 grade level span.  It is best if your K-2 Colony teacher has the ENL Endorsement.
    • Colony Schools, Endorsed Teacher in town:  If there is a teacher in the town school who is ENL Endorsed, but has other duties such as music, PE, Title I, etc, create a schedule so that this teacher can travel out to the Colony half a day, two-three times per  week to work specifically on language development with the identified students at the Colony school.
    • Town School Only: See “Build your District Core ESL Plan” for determining how much time your ENL Endorsed teacher should work with your ELLs. K-1 students may stay in the classroom.  Grades 2-4 may have pull-out ELD Instruction for up to 90 minutes per day. Grades 5+ may have a scheduled ESL Class with an EN Endorsed teacher for 90 or more minutes each day. (See considerations in the document linked below.)
    • Resource: https://www.nd.gov/dpi/uploads/1370/StaffingProgramModels.pdf


  • The rule of thumb we must refer to is that ELs need DAILY English Language Development instruction with a trained/endorsed ENL Teacher.



What about our content teachers? What are they supposed to do with the EL kids in class?

This is an excellent question. Yes, the content and classroom teachers are also responsible for the language development of ELs as well as the content instruction. Teachers need professional development in this area to know how to modify content and instruction appropriately for language learners in the content classroom. Perhaps you would like to use one or two of your early release days to have me do a staff workshop on just this topic? Part of our goal is to provide teachers the tools they need to work with ELs. This was not part of their teacher prep program as an undergraduate, so we are happy to help with this. We also provide regional workshops for teachers, as well. It is important to remember that the district ESL teacher has time to collaborate with content teachers about the ELs in their classes. This is a partnership between content and ESL teachers.


How much ELD instruction in an ESL Classroom or Pull-out situation is enough?

Please use this chart as a guideline for creating programing that is effective. These time allotments are based on research on how much ELD instruction is needed to make adequate progress in language development.

WIDA Access Levels 1-2


WIDA Access Level 3


WIDA Access Level 4-5


Kindergarten Daily pull-out ESL services 60 minutes each day, plus push-in services or co-taught class 60 minutes pull-out ESL Services daily; plus push-in services or co-taught class as needed 30-60 minutes pull-out ESL Services daily; push-in services or co-taught classes
Grades 1-2 Daily pull-out ESL services 60  minutes each day, plus push-in services or co-taught class 30-60 minutes pull-out ESL daily; push-in services or co-taught class 30-60 minutes pull-out ESL Services daily; push-in services or co-taught classes
Grades 3-5 Daily pull-out ESL services 120 minutes each day, plus push-in services or co-taught class 30-60 minutes pull-out ESL Services daily; push-in services or co-taught classes 30-60 minutes pull-out ESL Services daily, push-in services or co-taught classes
Grades 6-12 Intensive language instruction (ESL Direct instruction 180 total minutes;

*90-180 minutes direct ESL Class

*remaining time ESL Resource Study Hall, co-taught content classes and/or sheltered classes

90 minutes  of ESL daily; sheltered or co-taught classes; ESL resource periods 45 minutes of ESL each day; sheltered or co-taught classes; ESL resource periods

*see HS ESL class codes for high school credit.

ESL – English as a Second Language, taught by an endorsed English as a New Language teacher, objective is language development, class or pull-out structure
Co-teaching ESL and Content teacher plan and/or teach together to highlight language development within the context of content classroom learning
Sheltered Classroom/Content teacher uses strategies to modify grade-level content for students in response to language proficiency level
Collaboration The collaboration on a consistent between classroom teachers and ESL teachers is of utmost benefit to ESL and all students – as teachers work together to build academic language.


These PER-DAY “Units” are 30 minutes in Elementary school and based on the 45-minute blocks often used in MS/HS schedules.


What is the difference between ESL, ENL, ELL, ELD?

ESL – English as a Second Language. This refers to a program. A language learner would be enrolled in the ESL program and may attend a scheduled ESL Class as part of the school day.

EL – English  Learner. This refers to a person, a student.

ELD – English Language Development. This refers to the focus of the instruction.  ELD is taught in an ESL class or a pull-out ESL situation. A student has the right to receive ELD instruction to improve academic English to be successful in school. ELs need daily ELD instruction.

ENL – English as a New Language.  This refers to an endorsement. A teacher working with language learners in an ESL class needs to have the ENL endorsement to be considered highly qualified in the state of SD.

** “The EL (student) is taught daily ELD (language development) in the scheduled ESL class for 90 minutes each day.  This ESL Class is taught by our ESL Teacher, Mr. Smith, who holds the ENL Endorsement in SD.”


How do I identify and support SLIFE / SIFE?

Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) or Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) have unique needs that are often beyond the scope of a pull-out ESL or ELD program. The Minnesota Learning English for Academic Proficiency and Success (LEAPS) Act defines SLIFE as an English learner with interrupted formal education who:


  • Comes from a home where the language usually spoken is other than English, or who usually speaks a language other than English.
  • Enters school in the United States after grade 6.
  • Has at least two years less schooling than the English learner’s peers.
  • Functions at least two years below expected grade level in reading and mathematics.
  • May be preliterate in the English learner’s native language.


Programming and Instruction must be designed specifically to meet students’ needs, including social and emotional learning, alternative scheduling, and pre-literacy resources like standards-aligned picture books (not Disney books), along with content. We recommended the following resources:

Refugee Trauma information from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Colorin Colorado article about SLIFE

Colorin Colorado article with a list of CCSS-aligned Picture Book examples

Minnesota Department of Education SLIFE resource page

WIDA Focus article (scroll down to May 2015 to get the pdf) on SLIFE


What do we do about grading? Especially for Middle and High School students? We are not sure how to grade their classwork when the ELs are still learning English.

That is a really good question and one that gets asked by many districts across the state. First, what we want to remember is that English Learners (ELs), just like any other student, are entitled to age-appropriate grade-level content. Through instruction, the classroom teacher makes modification to general education assignments and classwork with regard to the EL’s language proficiency level.

Often, the best way to approach that is to have time for the Content Teacher and the District’s ESL Teacher to collaborate and brainstorm ways to modify work and support learners in the regular classroom setting. That recurring collaboration time is really key in beginning to make content accessible for ELs in the content and regular classroom.

It is also important to remember that we can’t assign a failing grade to an EL based on the fact that the student doesn’t speak English yet. For example,  if an EL can’t finish the science worksheet: Is that about a science skill? OR is it really about the fact that the EL can’t read the worksheet yet? Make sure that appropriate modifications and supports have been made to instruction and assignments before assigning a grade. If no modifications have been made, then the grade is not reflective of the EL’s Content Knowledge.

One really good website I like to refer to is the following: https://getsupported.net/five-pillars-of-equitably-grading-ells/  This is the best clear and simple information to share with teachers about equitable grading. This site shows the basic approach to grading: Define the Content and Language Standard, Incorporate Scaffolding, Support ELs’ Progress Toward Mastery, Assess ELs’ Progress, and Involved ELs’ Families.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. And this could be a great topic for me to visit with your teachers about during a short PD session on my next visit. 🙂  


How can my content teachers learn about modifying work for ELs in the content classroom?  They really are not sure how to change what they are doing for native English Speakers to meet the needs of English Learners. Especially in high school!

Collaboration time is key. The ongoing conversation between the ESL teacher and the classroom content teachers will be very important in creating effective instructional practices in the district for English Learners. The ESL Teacher brings to the collaborative discussion knowledge of language levels, ideas for modifying instruction, and which supports are good to include. The content teacher brings to the discussion knowledge of the content standards and content background knowledge. Through this discussion, ideas for “sheltering” content will be shared and will increase capacity across the district.

Some ideas for scheduling this important collaborative time are:

  • The ESL Teacher holds a weekly after school meeting and invites all classroom teachers with ELs to attend.
  • The ESL Teacher schedules recurring short  meetings with content teachers during common planning time.
  • Google shared folders and Google Docs can be set up for each grade level. ESL teacher would have access to these folders to offer some co-planning opportunities. Lesson plans can be co-written to plan for content and language instruction.
  • A quick conversation in the hallway can also go along way to helping both ESL and Content teachers support each other and stay on top of progress.

This kind of collaboration is key and must be supported by building administrators and principals. We suggest building Administrators sit-in on these meetings at least once a month to support teachers and also to learn about the needs of language learners.


Are Puerto Rican Students considered first year in country?

Puerto Rican identified English Learners enrolled in a school in one of the 50 U.S. States or the District of Columbia for less than 12 months would be considered first year in country, but they are not considered immigrant because they are already a US citizen. Refer to state guidelines for mandated state assessment for first year in country students.


Do Public Schools have an obligation to provide ESL services, information, and consultation to private schools within the boundaries of their school district?

Public schools need to have an annual Title I consultation with accredited private schools to discuss identification and assessment of English Learners, as well as Title III Services offered.  In addition, the public school should invite the private school to participate in any Title III Services offered (for example: When the Title III Consortium provides Professional Development, public school employees need to be invited).

Public school officials need to consult with private school officials about Title III Services, but not the core ESL program (Lau Plan). The core ESL program at the Private school is left to the discretion of the Private school. Furthermore, the public school has no obligation to provide ESL instructional services.

It behooves the public school to identify and assess the private school English Learners so that those students are included in the public school’s total LEP count. But, neither public or private are obligated to do this.

The private school may ask the public school to assist in identification and assessment of the English Learners, however; the public school is not obligated to provide the ESL Instructional services to private school students during the school year.


What are some benefits to joining the Migrant Consortium?

Help with the Identification Process, Certificates of Eligibility (COE’s)
Family Nights for Migrant families
Professional Development on Utilizing Migrant Literacy Net
Summer Programming (Experiential Learning, Summer School, etc.)
Book Studies


Why identify students as migrant?

Direct certification to free/reduced lunch

Waived fees for ACT testing

And.. benefits listed above