English as a Second Language Program

Iredell-Statesville Schools proudly provide services for English learners in 35 schools in our district.  We offer English language, culture and academic support in a learning environment that nurtures and encourages them to be their best. The ESL Department encourages student pride and cultural heritage and provides the cognitive and affective support to help them become contributing members of society.



To rigorously challenge English Language Learners to become proficient in academic and interpersonal English Language skills through implementation of the WIDA Standards and collaboration with all stakeholders.


Placement Into ESL Program Services

The Iredell-Statesville School system uses the WIDA English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards assessment system to determine English Learner (EL) classification. North Carolina is one of 37 states to adopt this model and use its foundation for EL instruction and assessment. URL:

Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade whose Home Language Surveys warrant language assessment upon entering the I-SS system are tested by the English as a Second Language teacher on either the W-APT or WIDA Screener test. These tests aid in the identification and placement of an EL into the ESL program.  Upon placement into the program, the ESL teacher determines whether the EL will receive direct ESL instruction or be placed on transition or if the student does not quality for services. If direct instruction, the student is pulled out for ESL classes in elementary school with the amount of services dependent upon the level of the student's English proficiency. In middle school, instruction is either pull-out or in an ESL block. In high school, the EL receives a daily 90-minute block of ESL instruction.

Students classified as EL are assigned levels of language ability according to results on the W-APT or WIDA Screener in four areas, or domains, of instruction. These domains are Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.  The classroom and/or core teachers are informed of the level of each student they teach as measured by the screener test. These levels are Entering, Beginning, Developing, Expanding and Bridging. Knowing the language proficiency levels of their ESL students guides each classroom teacher in using the appropriate modifications, skills, and best practice strategies beneficial to that student throughout the year.

Each EL will continue to be assessed annually in the spring by way of the K-12 ACCESS for ELs test until the student scores fluent in English.

When EL students do enroll into the program, parents are notified of the services by several different options:

  • The School-based ESL teacher

  • The I-SS Interpreter

  • Written information with interpretations as available