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Territory-wide English Language Proficiency Testing in Progress for ESL Students

A territory-wide English language proficiency assessment is actively in progress for measuring language growth in K-12 students enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, according to a press release issued Thursday by the V.I. Department of Education.
“The purpose of this assessment is to measure the growth in proficiency in English language learners (ELLs) over the course of the school year,” said Sarah Mahurt, Ph.D., deputy commissioner of Curriculum and Instruction. “Students were given a pretest to place incoming students into instructional programs and to provide baseline information on English proficiency. The test administered during the spring measures how much they have grown from the baseline.” The results of ESL testing will be released to the public this summer through the Department’s Web site, www.doe.vi.
Measurement of ELLs English language development will be done utilizing the Language Assessment Scales (LAS) Links. According to Maria J. Cruz, English Language Acquisition Evaluation Resource, “LAS Links K–12 Assessments help educators accurately assess the academic language skills of English language learners. The assessments provide detailed information on students’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills that can be used to plan instruction as well as measure student growth and program effectiveness.”
The St. Croix schools that provide services to English language learners are: Alexander Henderson, Evelyn Williams, Charles H. Emanuel, Pearl B. Larsen, Alfredo Andrews elementary schools; John H. Woodson and Arthur A. Richards junior high schools, and Central High School.
On St. Thomas-St. John the schools are: E. Benjamin Oliver, Gladys Abraham and Lockhart elementary schools, Addelita Cancryn and Julius E. Sprauve junior high schools and Charlotte Amalie High School.

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