Picture representing ESOL

The goal for the ESOL program is to help ensure that children develop proficiency in English and achieve high content standards. Beaufort County has a growing population of over 4.449 student identified as English Learners (ELs) in grades K through 12. The majority of the children resides in the Bluffton and Hilton Head Island School Clusters, and they are primarily Hispanic.

All potential ESOL students are screened initially using the K-WAPT or WIDA Screener language assessment of English and placed appropriately in the grade level according to age. A child’s English level, grade level, and cognitive ability are taken into consideration when determining what type of ESOL services he/she receives. Services include, but are not limited to: ESOL pull-out, ESOL push-in/co-teaching, Sheltered Instruction, ESOL Lab, or placement in the mainstream classroom with the appropriate modifications and accommodations needed in both curriculum and instructional practices. Curriculum in classes is dependent on the individual needs of students but can include content support, reading classes, language instruction and test taking practice/support. Some of the programs that are used in these classes include: Rosetta Stone, Read 180/System 44, Reach, Reading A-Z for ELS, Words Their Way, and Edge.

The ESOL staff includes South Carolina certified teachers who have, or are working on, SC ESOL certification. All schools have access to a Bilingual Liaison at their school who is fluent in both Spanish and English and can assist you with any of your questions or concerns regarding your child or their education. Teachers use grade level and state EL standards to guide instruction. All ESOL students have equal access to all special programs such as Gifted and Talented, Special Education and counseling services. 

Content teachers and ESOL teachers use the WIDA English Language Development standards to plan and deliver instruction. During the year students are assessed using various assessments including Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS), Measure of Academic Progress (MAP), Fountas and Pinnell and CogAT (2nd grade only). English Language Learners take the ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) in the areas of reading, speaking, listening, and writing each Spring to assess students' English proficiency and progress with language acquisition. 

The ESOL department receives local, state, and federal funding to support program initiatives which align with federal Title III requirements.

Parent involvement is a key to the success of the students and the schools! Because of this, all schools have a minimum of three parent nights a year to address the needs and concerns of English Learners (ELs) and parents. Information regarding parenting classes, English classes for adults, and GED coursework is provided at these nights. We welcome your input!

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s academics or progress with English proficiency, or with the ESOL program itself, please feel free to email Maelda Chalk
, World Language and ESOL Coordinator.


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Maelda Chalk

World Language/ESOL Coordinator