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Chapter 2
EDUCATIONAL SERVICE DELIVERY

This chapter examines the Kerrville Independent School District's (KISD's) educational service delivery system in seven sections:

A. Student Performance
B. Instructional Resources
C. Dropout Prevention/Alternative Education
D. Gifted and Talented Education
E. Special Education
F. Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education
G. Career and Technology Education

F. BILINGUAL / ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE EDUCATION

Chapter 29 of the Texas Education Code requires that students whose home language is different than English and who are identified as limited English proficient (LEP) "shall be provided a full opportunity in participate in a bilingual education or English as a second language program."

All school districts with an enrollment of 20 LEP students in the same grade level are required to offer a bilingual/English as a Second Language (ESL) or an alternative language program. Schools must provide a bilingual education in pre-kindergarten through the elementary grades. Bilingual education, instruction in ESL, or other transitional language instruction approved by TEA, must be provided in post-elementary grades through grade 8. For students in grades 7 through 12, schools are required to provide only instruction in ESL.

School districts are required to identify LEP students and provide bilingual or ESL programs as an integral part of the regular educational program. They are also required to seek certified teaching personnel to ensure that these students have the full opportunity to master the essential knowledge and skills required by the state and assess their achievement of essential skills and knowledge.

Educating students with limited English language proficiency is an important task for Texas public schools. Nearly 500,000 or 12.5 percent of Texas students were enrolled in bilingual or ESL programs in 1999-2000. According to the Policy Research Report, "Of the 666,961 students added to the Texas public education system between 1987-88 and 1997-98, more than 60 percent were students receiving bilingual education/English as a second language services." The report notes that the number of Hispanic students increased by 45 percent in the last decade, more than double the growth rate of the total student population. The State Board of Education's Long-Range Plan for Public Education 1996-2000 states "...enrollment in the state's bilingual education program is projected to increase by 50 percent over the next five years."

The coordination of Bilingual/ESL education in KISD is the responsibility of the director of Special Programs. The KISD Bilingual/ESL program has, in addition to the director, seven coordinators, eight certified bilingual teachers, two ESL teachers and four teacher aides. Three coordinators are located at three of the elementary schools (Daniels, Starkey and Nimitz), and one coordinator each is located at the upper elementary, middle, high school and alternative education high school.

Exhibit 2-29 presents enrollment and expenditure data for students in Bilingual/ESL programs in KISD, the peer districts and the state.

Exhibit 2-29
Bilingual/ESL Budgeted Expenditures
KISD vs. Peer Districts and State
2001-02
District Students
Enrolled
in Bil/ESL
Percent of
Total
Enrollment
Total
Budgeted
Expenditures
for Bilingual/ESL
Percent of
Total Programs
Budgeted
Expenditures
Per
Student
Expenditure
Marble Falls 277 7.6% $563,282 4.3% $2,033
Brenham 242 5.1% $95,564 0.6% $395
Kerrville 149 3.2% $356,710 2.4% $2,394
Aransas County 145 4.3% $206,402 1.8% $1,423
Midlothian 130 2.8% $54,262 0.3% $417
Levelland 95 3.1% $215,614 1.8% $2,270
State 542,609 13.1% $790,531,036 4.1% $1,457
Source: TEA, PEIMS, 2001-02.

In 2001-02, KISD has the third lowest percent of Bilingual/ESL students among its peer districts, the second highest percent of budgeted expenditures and the highest per student expenditures.

FINDING

KISD has established a comprehensive Bilingual/ESL program in all schools to meet student needs. The district has a bilingual program for grades pre-K through 6 and an ESL program for grades 7 through 12. Pre-kindergarten LEP students are located at Starkey Elementary, while LEP students in kindergarten through grade 4 are located at Daniels Elementary School. Bilingual students in grades 5 and 6 attend Tivy Upper Elementary and are served by one teacher. A certified ESL teacher serves ESL students in grades 7 and 8, and one ESL teacher provides services to ESL students in the high school.

KISD has specific criteria for qualifying program students, differentiated by educational levels: pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grade 1, grades 2 through 6 and grade 7 through 12. KISD uses the oral and written versions of the IPT tests in English or Spanish for assessing students. Entry criteria typically include the Home Language Survey, IPT scores and a norm referenced test. Exit criteria include TAAS performance (mastered all objectives on TAAS reading), scores above 40th percentile in reading and language arts sections of a norm-referenced test, a score of Non-LEP on the IPT post-test, passing all subjects and a teacher's recommendation.

Each school has a Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) with authority over the identification, instructional placement and classification of LEP students. The KISD LPAC at the elementary level consists of a campus administrator, a professional bilingual teacher, a professional transitional language educator and a parent of a LEP student who is not a district employee. The LPACs at the secondary level include a teacher or administrator and a parent of a LEP child who is not a district employee. All LPAC members receive training annually.

The LPAC meets within the first four weeks of student enrollment and thereafter every four weeks as necessary to review new students' data. The committee also determines the eligibility of LEP students in grades 3 through 8 to be exempted from TAAS, take the TAAS in English or take the TAAS in Spanish. The LPAC also determines whether students will leave the bilingual program at the end of the year and monitors the academic performance of LEP/ESL students.

KISD offers a summer program for LEP students before they enter kindergarten or grade 1.

The summer program, located at Daniels Elementary, gives LEP children an opportunity to prepare for school. Instruction focuses on language development and grade-level appropriate essential knowledge and skills. The summer program offers 120 hours of instruction with a student - teacher ratio not to exceed 18:1. The teachers in the program are bilingual or ESL certified.

In 2001-02, KISD established an ESL Support Group at Peterson Middle School to address ESL students' achievement. Central office and campus administrators, regular education teachers and the ESL teacher make up the support group, which suggests strategies for increasing ESL students' academic achievement. In 20002-03, the support group recommended that ESL teachers receive more detailed information about each student including students' test scores and students' language strengths and weaknesses. The support group also suggested using benchmark tests to monitor ESL students' progress.

COMMENDATION

KISD offers a comprehensive Bilingual/ESL program serving the needs of students at all the schools.