BROOKSVILLE — Nearly 700 Hernando County public school students in grades K-12 were eligible to receive English Speakers of Other Languages services during this closing school year.
Between April 15 and May 14, these 685 students were tested in reading, writing, listening and speaking to assess whether they are eligible to exit the program or need to continue receiving services.
FCAT information is also used to measure annual achievement objectives.
At the conclusion of the testing, the English Language Learners, their parents/guardians, and the 12 ESOL lead teachers and their paraprofessionals were invited to a "CELLA"bration, named after the Comprehensive English Language Learner Assessment, or CELLA.
Jeff Yungmann, supervisor of curriculum for middle school, said the festive event was held at J.D. Floyd Elementary School.
Business partners provided food, beverages and prizes. Some students sang and danced, and others created displays.
The event, Yungmann said, was a "celebration of accomplishments" but also instructed parents about language software and reading materials that students can take home during the summer.
The ESOL program includes students who have come to Hernando County from many countries. According to 2008 survey data, 36 percent were Latin American, 23 percent Asian, 20 percent European and 1 percent from other places.
A Title 3 English Language Learners and Immigrants grant funds the ESOL program. Eric Williams is the Hernando County grant writer.