• English as a Second Language


    If you have any questions regarding English as a Second Language, please contact

    Gretchen Tucci at (412) 221-4542, extension 415.

    South Fayette School District's ESL Teacher's are:

    Marcia Fink at extension

    Cindy Nix at extension

    Program Goals and Objectives

    The K-12 English Language Learners (ELL) program at South Fayette School District provides students with the language skills they need to participate successfully in content area classes. ESL instruction is designed to address the Pennsylvania Academic Standards in reading, writing, speaking and listening to align with the English Language Proficiency Standards.

    An underlying objective of the ESL program is to provide a source of support as the student seeks to understand and adapt to his or her new cultural and academic setting. ESL teachers work to develop an appreciation of their students’ strengths within the school setting and to ensure full access to the range of educational opportunities available in the school.

    Identification and Placement

    As part of enrollment procedures, all parents/guardians are required to complete a Home Language Survey and Student Background Questionnaire. An ESL evaluation is requested based upon the responses of these two documents through the Office of Pupil Personnel – ESL Program Coordinator. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess for potential placement in the program unless they meet the exit criteria outlined in the English Language Learner Program Book (Available upon  request at the Pupil Services Department).  There are certain scenarios that may preclude assessment if a student can demonstrate English language proficiency.

    Parent permission to assess for ELP is not required.
    Parent notification of student assessment results and placement in the ESL program is required. 

    Parent Open House / Orientation

    A parent open house/ orientation meeting is held annually to inform parents and community members on programs updates, as well as student achievement within the program. 

    Instructional Program

    ESL instruction is provided by qualified teachers who hold a valid Instructional I Certification and is a Program Specialist in ESL from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    Students are grouped by age and language proficiency levels. The total number of hours of ESL instruction varies according to the students’ needs. Research based techniques and models for adapting instruction are utilized. Recommended amounts of ESL instruction are in the following ranges and are aligned with the guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 



    Level 1

    2 hours per day


    Level 2

    2 hours per day


    Level 3

    1-2 hours per day


    Level 4

    1 hour per day


    Level 5

    Up to 1 hour or support dictated by students’ needs.


    Level 6


    The District’s ESL classes are part of the daily schedule during language arts and students are not removed from other content classes to receive ESL instruction. The curriculum South Fayette offers aligns with PDE’s reading, writing, speaking, and listening standards and the PA English Language Proficiency for English Language Learners. 


    ELL’s have access to school sponsored activities including after school tutoring, intramurals, enrichment programs, guidance, and nursing services at levels within the district. Lastly, ELLs are entitled to participate in all federal programs for which they are identified for the District. 

    English as a Second Language Services

    At the elementary level, ELL students receive ESL services through a pull out program in reading and language arts in the ESL classroom. The students can also receive services as push in for other content area subjects as needed. 

    At the middle school level services are provided through a pull-out program during English, reading and language arts classes in Grades 5-8 and participate in math, science, and social studies with their peers. The students can also receive services as push-in for other content area subjects as needed. All instruction can be modified and adapted to the English linguistic ability of the ELL student by the content area teacher in consultation with the ESL teacher. 

    At the high school level, ELL student are assigned specific classes with the ESL teacher based upon their language proficiency.  All instruction can be modified and adapted to the English linguistic ability of the ELL student by the content area teacher in consultation with the ESL teacher. 

    Annual Assessment 

    ELL’s are assessed annually to determine the progress of English language using the WIDA ACCESS for English Language Learners as required by PDE.