English as a Second Language


The philosophy of the Harlem School District is for all of our students to develop high levels of English proficiency while maintaining, and whenever possible, enhancing their linguistic diversity.  We will support our students to maintain their first language as they develop skills in English.  We will develop a comprehensive model to address the short and long-term academic programming goals of our English Learners (ELs).

A student identified as EL is entitled to services until such student obtains a minimum Overall Composite Proficiency Level of 4.8 on ACCESS. Thus, districts must continue to provide ELs with appropriate services until they achieve these cut scores on ACCESS.


WIDA Screener -  is an English language proficiency "screener" test given to incoming students who may be designated as Emergent Bilinguals (EBs). It assists educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of EBs. The WIDA Screener is one component of WIDA's comprehensive assessment system. 


Language Instruction Programs for English Language - The rules still require that school districts administer a home language survey to determine the languages spoken in the student’s home and the languages spoken by the student. Once a student with a non-English language background is identified, school districts are required to conduct individual language assessments using the screening instruments (listed below) within 30 days of the student's enrollment in the district.

Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) - Instruction is in the students’ native language to enable them to transition into English. The goal is to help students transition to mainstream, English-only classrooms as quickly as possible, and the linguistic goal of such programs is English acquisition only. Students in TBE programs must be taught by certified teachers with bilingual and/or ESL approval who have a near-native level of proficiency in the native language spoken by the students.

Harlem Language Academy (HoLA) - dual language program, also known as two-way immersion, falls under the bilingual education (TBE) umbrella. Is an effective approach to develop language proficiency and literacy in English and Spanish. The HoLA program promotes Biculturalism, Bilingualism and Biliteracy, grade-level academic achievement, and cross-cultural competence in all students.  

Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) - Instruction may be provided in lieu of a TBE program if there are fewer than 20 English Learners (ELs) of the same native language enrolled in an attendance center. A TPI must always be made available to any ELs if a TBE program is not otherwise available. TPI may provide a wide range of services. Examples of TPI services include English as a second language (ESL) instruction and classroom tutors, aides, and others who serve as a native language resource.

Contact Us

Director of Multicultural Education
Ana Luisa Domínguez
815-654-4500 ext. 1011

Secretary to the Director of Multicultural Education
Natalie Ramírez
815-654-4500 ext. 1042