Better Supporting Life Readiness for English Language Learners

HCPSS has raised the bar for language proficiency of students in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. The new standards help Howard County’s diverse student population, with over 100 countries and 82 languages represented, exit the ESOL program with the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills needed for success in college and the workplace.

HCPSS implemented higher standards, adopted by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), for ESOL participants last school year. The new standards align with the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.

Maryland is a member of the WIDA consortium, a group of 35 states that uses the same standards to teach academic English and monitor the language proficiency growth of English learners through the WIDA-created ACCESS 2.0 assessment. MSDE set new requirements that align ESOL expectations with PARCC standards.

Even with new, higher standards, HCPSS has the highest ESOL exit percentage for student success among Maryland school systems with 50,000 or more students, and is in the top three statewide.

Learn more about the new standards →

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