English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program
     English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is a federally mandated instructional program for eligible English Learners (ELs) in grades K-12 (Georgia School Law Code 1981, § 20-2-156, enacted in 1985). The purpose of the ESOL language program is to provide English language development instruction and language support services to identified K-12 English Learners in Atlanta Public Schools for the purpose of increasing their English language proficiency and academic achievement.


    The responsibility for educating the whole English Learner student is shared by the regular classroom teachers and the ESOL teachers. Classroom teachers, ESOL teachers, and other support staff collaborate to determine the necessary instructional scaffolds and language -focused activities to make language and content as comprehensible as possible for ELs throughout the school day. The WIDA Consortium English Language Development (ELD) standards, integrated with the Georgia Standards of Excellence guide the work of ESOL teachers to enable ELs to both communicate in English and demonstrate their academic, social, and cultural proficiency.


    The APS ESOL program is a distinct program designed to provide ESOL language instruction to eligible students from certified ESOL teachers and outreach and engagement activities to all limited English proficient and immigrant families. ESOL language instruction is based upon the WIDA Consortium English Language Development (ELD) Standards aligned with grade-level Georgia Standards of Excellence. ELD standards are integrated with the Georgia Standards of Excellence to enable ELs to communicate in English and to demonstrate their academic, social, and cultural proficiency. Instructional approaches, both in ESOL and general education classes, must ensure that the diverse needs of identified ELs are met. In order to receive state-funding for the ESOL support services, instruction must be provided via the state-approved ESOL delivery models, ESOL class sizes must be limited to the maximum size specified in State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1-.08 Class Size, and the ESOL teacher must hold the ESOL endorsement or certificate issued by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GAPSC).

    In addition to instructional support services to eligible students, the APS ESOL program also provides ESOL parent and community engagement and outreach and language translation/interpretation services. Per federal law and affirmed in APS Board Policy LEBB, all school – home and district – home communication must be in a language that parents understand. The APS ESOL staff assist in bridging the cultural and linguistic divides that often exist between the school and home. The APS ESOL Program provides translation/interpretation services as well as workshops, classes, trainings, and events that meet the unique linguistic and cultural needs of immigrant and limited English proficient families and supports their engagement with schools and the community.


    Title III, Part A – Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students

    Title III, Part A: Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as Amended under the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) P.L> 115-141, enacted March 2018, is a distinct subgrant to eligible school districts. The Title III federal grant program is designed “to help ensure that English Learners (ELs), including immigrant children and youth, attain English proficiency and develop high levels of academic achievement in English.” [Sec. 3102 (1)]. Title III, Part A EL Language programs provide supplemental services and activities provided to EL students, their teachers, and their families above and beyond the schools’ legal obligations to English Learners and their limited English proficient parents. In Georgia, all federal programs services are provided within the System of Continuous Improvement Framework. (For more information, visit the Georgia Department of Education website.) In Atlanta Public Schools Title III funds are used to provide evidence-based supplemental resources and programs to support identified ELs and immigrant students, develop staff, and engage EL and immigrant families. The Title III, Part A is supplemental to the APS ESOL program, it is administered by the Office of ESOL & World Languages.



    A high-performing school district where all English Learners love to learn, teachers inspire, limited English families engage, and the community values linguistic and cultural diversity.


    Through a caring culture of equity, trust, and collaboration every APS English Learner will graduate ready for college, career, and life. 

    Program Goals

    The English to Speakers of Other Languages Program of Atlanta Public Schools provides English Learners with support and instruction in the English language, American culture, and academic and cognitive areas in order to ensure success in the classroom, school, and the community. The goals of the program are as follows:

    1. To develop competency in English in all four domains of language: listening, speaking, reading and writing;
    2. To integrate language, cognitive and academic instruction that enables students to develop English language proficiency and content area knowledge;
    3. To support the curriculum based on the Georgia Standards of Excellence while emphasizing social and academic language proficiency;
    4. To orient students and parents to the American culture and enable them to participate successfully in school and community life;
    5. To ensure grade-level appropriate content for all ELs regardless of English proficiency level;
    6. To ensure a focus on collaboration and shared accountability for the success of all English Learners.


    Are you interested in becoming an APS ESOL Teacher?                                                                        

    APS is always looking for passionate, master educators who believe in the potential of our English Learner students and are committed to making a difference in their lives.

    APS ESOL Certification Requirements

    Elementary Level ESOL: Early Childhood and ESOL Endorsement/Certification

    Middle School Level ESOL: Middle Grades Core Content or 6 - 12 Core Content and ESOL Endorsement/Certification

    High School Languages: 6 - 12 Core Content and ESOL Endorsement/Certification

    If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities in APS ESOL, contact Dr. Margaret McKenzie at mamckenzie@atlanta.k12.ga.us

    Upcoming Events                                                                                                                                    
    APS ESOL PLC Dates
    All sessions will be virtual. ESOL PLC sessions are mandatory and all APS ESOL teachers and APS Charter/Partner School ESOL Teachers should plan to attend.

    Weeks of August 3rd and  10th - ESOL Teacher Beginning of Year Preplanning Session (All ESOL teachers must attend a 2 hour session) - Times and dates in MyPLC.)

    Week of August 10th: Optional Technology Sessions (Zoom, FlipGrid, and Nearpod) - Times and dates in MyPLC.

    Week of August 17th: Title III Supplemental Supports Training (Lexia and DreamBox) - Times and dates in MyPLC.

    Week of September 21st: ESOL PLC - ESOL FTE and Student Reporting Requirements - (All ESOL teachers must attend a 2 hour session) - Times and dates in MyPLC.

    October 13th: PL Day Sessions - Times and session descriptions in MyPLC.

    October - December 2020: Additional PL sessions - Times and session descriptions in MyPLC.

    January 4th: School PL Day with Option District Session - Times and session descriptions in MyPLC

    January 27th: Using Lexia to Support Simultaneous Instruction in the ESOL Classroom (Part 1)

    February 24th: Using Lexia to Support Simultaneous Instruction in the ESOL Classroom (Part 2)

    Additional Professional Learning                                                                                                             
    ESOL Endorsement Program
    The ESOL Endorsement Program is a three-course, 150 seat hour program approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and offered under the supervision of MetroRESA. The APS ESOL Endorsement Program is a cohort model program for certified APS teachers and APS charter and partner school teachers who wish to add the endorsement to their existing Georgia teaching certificate. Announcements regarding the 2020 - 2021 are sent via email to all APS teachers. Interested teachers must attend one of the ESOL Endorsement Interest meetings and then submit a completed application to the Multilingual Programs + Services department.
    ESOL Professional Learning Community
    All ESOL teachers will participate in quarterly PLC meetings. The goal of these sessions is to provide an opportunity for vertical planning,  student data analysis, sharing of program information and best practices. Register for sessions in MyPLC.
    Professional Learning Workshops
    ESOL workshops will be provided for ESOL and regular education teachers throughout the year. Information will be posted in myPLC.
    Schools may request PL sessions and workshops throughout the year. Please contact Dr. Margaret McKenzie for more information.
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