The mission of the Multilingual Learner Program Office is to provide leadership, guidance, and support to empower GCPS leaders and teachers to recognize and build upon the strengths of each unique multilingual learner by providing effective instruction that expedites English language development and engages each student in learning grade-level Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) content.
Enrollment and Screening for English Proficiency
Upon enrollment in GCPS, all parents answer Language Background questions. When newly enrolled students have a primary home language other than English (PHLOTE), they are screened for proficiency in English, even if English is one of the languages they speak. The WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is the assessment used for students through the first semester of first grade. The WIDA Online Screener is used for students in the second semester of first grade through twelfth grade.
Students who are not yet proficient in English are considered to be Multilingual Learners (MLs) and are eligible for language support services until they meet the exit criteria set by the Georgia Department of Education.
Elementary school students with a PHLOTE are screened at their local schools. Middle and high school students with a PHLOTE who are new to U.S. schools are screened at the International Newcomer Center (INC) in Lawrenceville. Parents are asked to call the INC at 678-985-5200 to make an appointment and to bring any school records with them. At the INC, International Student Advisors (ISAs) will interview the student and family about previous schooling, screen the student for English language proficiency and math skills, and make recommendations for course placement to help students learn English and grade-level content as quickly as possible.
Dr. Catana Harris
Director of Multilingual Learner Program